Sweepstakes are contests that are often used by companies as marketing measures to spread the word about a particular product. Companies offer up their product or service as the main prize in a contest, which gives them a lot of free publicity. Sweepstakes also give you a chance to win something that can sometimes be a little bit off the wall. When it comes to the most bizarre sweepstake prizes, you don’t get much weirder than the following.
CBS Cares recently held a national sweepstakes that offered a free colonoscopy as the grand prize. Kudos to them for getting the word out on colorectal cancer prevention and early screening, but we don’t know what’s more bizarre: having the most unusual couple of all time, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, heading up the project, or knowing there’s a thrilled grand prize winner out there who actually enjoyed receiving this prize.
2. Gemini Spacecraft
The 1960s was an era of space exploration, and it’s no surprise that contest prizes reflected that sentiment. A 1967 comic book promised the contest to end all contests when it came out with an ad for Revell’s Gemini sweepstakes. First prize was a Gemini capsule model that sounded very similar to an actual prototype. Some crazy marketing manager came up with the idea to give the 19-foot spacecraft to one lucky kid and his mortified parents. The mockup was eventually donated by the recipient to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, where it could be put to good use as an education tool and get out of the family’s backyard.
Who doesn’t love butterflies? Few people would say they don’t like this most colorful of insects, but how many would want to win a dozen of them in a contest? It may seem bizarre, but that’s exactly what the folks at AmazingButterflies.com do each month. They give away twelve of these live creatures in a monthly drawing and package them in release boxes. The jury is still out on how many butterflies make it to their destinations alive. Dead butterflies aren’t much of a prize.
4. Visit from a Cow
If you think cows are awesome now, wait until you win a visit from the gigantic Turkey Hill cow. This massive Holstein surprises a few birthday kids each year as a party crasher, leaving party favors and tons of free ice cream in her wake. What’s more, apparently the folks at Turkey Hill do this kind of thing throughout the year, every year, so the contest is open-ended. Just be sure to enter at least a month before your child’s birthday party. At the very least, it will make for some hilarious photo ops and a birthday the neighborhood kids will never forget.
5. Zombie Preparedness Kit
Sometimes universities offer up some strange sweepstake prizes through their campus bookstore. This was most certainly the case when Concordia University felt its students should be ready for a zombie apocalypse. Participants had a chance to win an entire preparedness kit that included a printed copy of ‘The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead,’ a zombie repellant shirt, Swiss Army backpack, a Louisville Slugger baseball bat, flashlight, and a roll of duct tape.
6. Head Massager
Queens University also decided to jump on the weird sweepstake prize bandwagon by offering a high-tech head massager that looks like something out of Total Recall. Designed to relieve headaches, tension, and the overall stress associated with being a college student, the Head Spa revolutionary head massager isn’t exactly something you’d want your roommate to catch you using.
7. LED Umbrella
Another college sweepstakes at the University of Victoria offered an LED umbrella as one of its top prizes. This may sound cool in theory, but the product description for this particular umbrella proves that it was designed to be used during a post-apocalyptic future when the sun has been overshadowed by clouds of nuclear waste, volcanic explosions, and miscellaneous debris. What’s more, the thing looks like a Jedi took his light saber and skewered the Umbrella Corporation logo, which makes sense post-apocalyptically if you think about it.
8. Bad Japanese Toys
CraziestGadgets.com makes no apologies for their outlandish sweepstake prizes. A recent one involved a Japanese toy called a Peri Peri that exists solely to replicate the ripping sound of a FedEx envelope pull-tab. This type of prize is ideal for those poor souls that never seem to receive mail. One may be the loneliest number, but a mock pull-tab provides instant satisfaction and a sense of self-worth, or something like that.
WeirdBlame.com offers an impressive compilation of college bookstore contests. On a national scale, one lucky grand prize winner can expect to win a Segway personal transporter valued at over $5,000. This may seem like an awesome prize, but when you think about the hit your reputation is going to take for owning a set of nerd-chic wheels on campus . . . well, you can see where this is going.
10. Plasma Mug with Electronic Coaster
Brock University wants to make drinking even more interesting by offering a plasma mug with electronic coaster as one of its sweepstake prizes. Touching the glass with inebriated fingertips and docking the mug on the electronic coaster ensures a colorful plasma show that can only add to your college experience.
Some of these prizes may be too interesting to pass up, but some are just downright bizarre. In the wide and varied world of sweepstakes, you never know what outlandish prize may be up for grabs.