Hamburgler kicked me in my Fry Guy
When someone promises me a shot at being a “winner” naturally my ears perk up. I mean, after all, I’ve never tried that, so I’m understandably curious.
Call it the McCircle of McLife. What goes in one end eventually passes through. Like a hamburger milkshake squirted out of your Grimace.
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it, so, in an attempt to be helpful, here I am to remind everyone of the not-so-distant past regarding the juicy marriage of McDonald’s and Monopoly.
In 2000, the US promotion was halted after fraud was uncovered. A subcontracting company called Simon Marketing (a then-subsidiary of Cyrk), which had been hired by McDonald’s to organize and promote the game, failed to recognize a flaw in its procedures, and the chief of security, Jerome P. Jacobson, was able to remove the “most expensive” game pieces, which he then passed to associates who would redeem them and share the proceeds. The associates “won” almost all of the top prizes between 1995 and 2000, including McDonald’s giveaways that did not have the Monopoly theme. The associates “netted” over $24 million. The scheme was uncovered when one of the participants informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Even though the fraud was perpetrated without McDonald’s knowledge, the McDonald’s Corporation voluntarily attempted to rectify the situation by issuing payouts to new (legitimate) winners, awarding five $1 million annuity prizes, and fifty $100,000 prizes over a five-day period.
While the fraud appeared to have been perpetrated by only one key employee of the promotion company, and not by the company’s management, eight people were originally arrested, leading to a total of 21 indicted individuals. The relationship between McDonald’s and Simon Marketing broke down in a pair of lawsuits over breach of contract, eventually settled out of court, with McDonald’s’ claim being thrown out and Simon receiving $16.6 million. Although McDonald’s was not involved in the fraud, it came under much criticism for what appeared to be lax oversight of the promotion company.
In 1995, St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee received an anonymous letter postmarked Dallas, Texas, containing a $1 million winning game piece. Although game rules prohibited the transfer of prizes, McDonald’s waived the rule and is making the $50,000 annual payments. Investigations later indicated, and Jacobson himself admitted, that he had sent the winning piece to the hospital.
You’re welcome! You know what they say. “There’s a McDonald’s customer born every minute.”
A study done by R.P. Clayton and K.E. Belk in 1998 concluded that a single 4-ounce ground beef patty was made from, on average, at least 55 different animals to, at most, an average of 1082 animals.
Source: Really Fast Food?
Schlosser says a fast food hamburger sold in 1965 and one made today might look the same, but 38 years ago the meat from the burger likely came from one cow or steer. In today’s burger, you’ll find pieces of a thousand or more cattle from as many as five different countries ground up into one little hamburger patty.
Source: DePauw University
Now that’s what I call eating globally! That sounds a lot better than taking second prize in a beauty contest!
Who Wants To Be A Bouillonaire?
I have good news and bad news.
The good news is that I write my own material. The bad news, well, look above and see for yourself. 🙂
I wrote the joke above while thinking about odds and probabilities, especially in terms of events like the Indiana State Fair and the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi.
We often hear things expressed in probabilities. For example, “This luxurious home is offered at only $999,995. It is located on a 100-year flood plain.”
According to Wikipedia: “A one-hundred-year flood is calculated to be the level of flood water expected to be equaled or exceeded every 100 years on average.”
“A 100-year flood has approximately a 63.4% chance of occurring in any 100-year period, not a 100 percent chance of occurring.”
Interesting. I did not know that. I assume that such estimates are based on a lot on factors like recorded history and an evaluation of as many guessable variables as possible. But who knows how accurate such things are?
In the case of something like a nuclear reactor, I always wonder how they can estimate the probability of something for which no history yet exists. Truth be told, it sounds a lot like total theory and guesswork to me.
Is it the height of hubris to think we really know the odds of what might happen, what might be possible? And do we always tend to err on the side we favor? And if so, what is the cost of this bias?