Is this a Supersized Lotto? Will it ALL go to K-12 education?
Hmmm. Those were the two questions that popped in my mind when I read the headline for a “Worldwide Competition – One Trillion Dollar Give-Away.”
Having just won a case of books recently, I figured I could push my luck –while I’m still hot, hot, hot – and toss my name into this unbelievable “big money” contest. (And btw – thanks to everyone who emailed me back to request a copy of “20,000 Days and Counting” on Tuesday. Your book is on the way!)
When you’re on a roll, you want to don’t stop. Agreed? And this is what I intended to do – until I read the particulars of the contest. I found out that it’s now too late to enter. And besides, since the magazine had already made the effort to enter EVERYONE (including YOUR parents & grandparents…) this totally negated any personal advantage associated with my current winning streak (which still numbers at “1” but I like to call it a “streak” anyway).
Unfortunately, this huge contest was originally printed in The Saturday Review in 1958.
Back then, world tensions, nuclear war, the spread of communism, and winning the race in space were the fears that worried most people. Little did they know that we “Baby Boomers” would dash to the rescue in future decades … more or less. So keep this background in mind when you look over the contest boldly proclaimed below.
Here ’tis: (In 1958, “all caps” and Romper Room rocked!)
IN TAX-FREE PRIZES.
YOU ARE ALREADY ENTERED.
YOUR CHILDREN AND THEIR CHILDREN-TO-BE
ARE ALREADY ENTERED.
The prizes, conservatively valued at $1,000,000,000,000
include the following:
* a five-mile thick layer of pure, non-radioactive air
* cities consisting of buildings, not rubble
* water reservoirs not contaminated with fall-out
* farmlands capable of growing edible food
* your home, your car, your TV set, your life and
various other extras, such as unlimited energy
from the atom, and perhaps interplanetary travel
However, you cannot withdraw from this competition –
TO WIN: Help find a firm road to lasting peace.
What do you think about the purpose behind this 55 year-old “contest?” I think it hits the mark. It’s an interesting example for presenting “enduring value” — which, of course, our schools are all about in creating.
Now had I been writing the copy for this contest back in 1958… the wording would’ve sounded a lot more hokey than this one does. (Never underestimate my ability to make something worse.) Most likely, though, I probably would’ve missed the deadline at The Saturday Review entirely and this never would’ve made it to print at all!