Thursday, September 25, 2014

#147 He Doesn't Do Drawings

It isn't often that I win random drawings.  I have one moment in time a little blurred in my memory.  I was with my father and Hubby at some sort of college meeting at a hotel in Cherry Hill.  It was one of those, 'Let's get you excited about the college you're going to attend!', kind of meetings.

They raffled off a few door prizes and I won a teddy bear wearing a sweater with our school's name stitched across the front.  I was overly excited about winning that teddy bear.


Now that I think of it, I'm not even sure if I won the teddy bear.  It might have been Hubby.  Perhaps I was just so excited to hear one of our names that over time it became mine.

Random drawings, raffles, and gambling of any sort get at me.  I know someone is going to win, but it is typically such a small percentage that I think why even bother tossing my name into the hat?

I usually don't enter the door prize sort of contests for this exact reason.  Too many times of eyeing up the prizes, putting my name in, and feeling eagerness surge within me at the thought of winning have left me burnt when Susie McWinsemall's name gets called.  Like a sucker though, I continue to go back to places where the possibility of winning may occur because I've made some sort of monetary commitment to it: Chinese auctions, casinos, 50/50's, etc.

A few weeks ago, Hubby and I went to the Jersey Fresh Wine Festival.*  Before reaching the entrance to the festival there were two tables set up with pads of entry forms.  I hardly even glanced at them as we hustled past. 

When we were leaving, somehow, someway, we got hooked by the man behind the tables.

"Did you enter on your way in?" he asked.  

Gosh darn my honesty, but I stopped dead in my tracks, looked at him and said, "No, we didn't".

A minute later we were both filling out entry forms for who knows why with our names and phone numbers for what sort of prize I couldn't even tell you.

*The festival was held on the first weekend in September but it felt like the first weekend of summer.  The heat traumatized me a little.  By that I mean that I was literally soaked with sweat and cursing days that hit 90 degrees or higher.  Despite the awesomeness of the festival and my thought that it would also be awesome to blog about, not a single note was written down nor picture was taken because of the vicious heat and my anger towards it. 


A voice mail message in my inbox last week confused then excited me. 

"I have some GREAT news for you.  You have won a fabulous prize and some additional prizes as well,"

At this point, I was starting to think I was listening to a recording.  The inflection in the woman's voice, the strange emphasis on the word great, and the larger than life appeal of it all had me convinced she was a robot.  Tell me you've gotten this one before: When you answer the phone your eardrum is blown out by the sound of a horn and then a man's voice saying, "This is your captain speaking,".  He continues to tell you that you've won tickets aboard a cruise ship.



When I realized it was a real person on my machine and she mentioned that my winnings were due to my entry at the Wine Festival I thought, perhaps, this might be legitimate.

She didn't say what I had won though.  I imagined it was too big to say over the phone.  A car?  Cash prize?  

I was no dummy though.  I figured if this was a scam, she would have called Hubby too since he had filled out a separate entry form.  My gut was telling me: Too good to be true.; You don't win things.;  There's something behind it.  But when Hubby said he hadn't received a call, I already began picturing myself trading in that new car for freshly printed cash.

Even in the first ten minutes--ten minutes!--of calling her back and being told that I had won four round trip airplane tickets to anywhere in the USA or Europe I was thinking, Sweet!  It came around the point where she began to tell me the "extra" prizes I had won that I knew I'd been played the fool.  If I went to Atlantic City that weekend to pick up my airplane tickets, I also would get a three night stay at one of their luxury hotels as well as $100 dining credit.

Are you thinking timeshare?  Because I was already there.

She then proceeded to straight up ask me if I've ever been to a timeshare presentation before.  I told her, quite bluntly, that yes my husband and I, both young and stupid on our honeymoon, agreed to give up what turned into four hours of our romantic getaway in order to score three nights in Virginia.

Yes, we're definitely winners.

I humored her and even set up a time on Monday to come in and hear their presentation in order to get my airplane tickets.  However, when I received three--THREE--calls and one voice mail message confirming that I would be coming and that my husband and I would have our ids and a major credit card with us I decided there was no way free airfare was worth it.  

If you've never been to a timeshare presentation, consider yourself lucky.  

Here's the deal.  Once you get your free item, in our case three nights in the most fabulous wondrous state of Virginia, when you check-in to actually enjoy your free item you are then told you have to participate in another short presentation.

Three hours later and you have free airfare to the Bahamas which you will more than likely opt not to use because of the major portion of your life that simply staying in a hotel room cost. 

The moral of today's ranting?  Go with your gut.  Don't enter such contests unless the bucket is completely empty and the prize and your car are both in your line of vision.

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