You’ve still gotta buy stuff and win paper sets. One side is still all the little slips that will litter your house for months. The slips still yield chances to win $1M, or $5. A $100,000 boat or a portable grill. And I, er, spoke too soon – the glue isn’t any better. But it does taste AWFUL. The other side of the paper set still yields coupons, chances for more slips, or codes to register online.
The renewed online streamlining for registering codes is rational and welcome – you can’t register more than one code at a time. Seems to really be keeping the system from crashing. The crashes were INFURIATING. Guess it’s more like a slot machine now.
It is a slot machine now, btw, BECAUSE every time you enter a code, you win a chance at a slot-machine roll of three reels, combinations of which get you a coupon for a game of bowling, Shutterfly products, to $1,000 cash to, I think, maybe (I don’t dare look again, I’ll jinx it) up to $250,000 cash. But wait, there’s more…
The rolls can also yield tokens. Which are chips to buy anything from another chance at $1,000 cash, attendance at movie premieres, $250,000 cash, or a free bagel.
To each his own? Me, I want money for nothing, got blisters on my thumbs. I ain’t buyin’ nuttin’ but chances at money with my relentlessly-acquired tokens. But I’ll bet there are people overjoyed by the bagels. I’ll admit to a little gurgle of a thrill when I got a bowling coupon with a spin of the reels.
If this game weren’t premised on shopping for items which generally aren’t luxuries, it would be disturbing how eerily it is now full-on gambling. It is possible, cautiously, to only buy things you normally buy and still play this game. There will be deviations from brand – curse you again Safeway for brand-loyalty marketing – but that’s mostly not an expensive concern.
But I worry – this game now has enough allure that I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that people with compulsive buying tendencies could find it dangerous. And that is definitely dampening my zeal.