Win “$10,000” from SmartMoney, or not

by Kevin on March 11, 2008

I just saw a post over at FIRE Finance about Smart Money (magazine) running a “March Madness” tournament for stocks. Basically it says that you can win $10,000 just by playing in this contest — sweet deal, right?

But wait.

Look at the contest ad over at Smart Money’s page: Market Madness.

From the rules:

3. Prizes. The Grand Prize winner will receive USD$10,000 which may be used towards payment on a car lease. The Grand Prize will be awarded as a check made payable to the Grand Prize winner. Only one Grand Prize will be awarded.”

Hogwash. Win $10,000 towards a lease on a car? Specifically, the Nissan Murano. Who wants that? No, thanks. I’d rather have $10,000 cash, but Nissan wouldn’t like that too much.

Plus, stock picking like that doesn’t encourage intelligent investing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a smart campaign. You’re giving a discount on a lease to one consumer and you’ll have thousands of people play and get exposure to your brand. And in the end, you’re still “selling” a product to someone — just at a significant discount.

Update: Smart Money has clarified the rules, and the money can now be taken just as cash. You don’t have to apply it to a lease with Nissan.


FIRE Finance March 12, 2008 at 11:03 am

Please see the note from Nathan which says that the prize money can be used as cash. It is not a must to put it towards the lease of a new Nissan Murano.
FIRE Finance

Jake Stichler March 14, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Erm, yeah, even before the clarification, it seemed pretty clear:

“The Grand Prize will be awarded as a check made payable to the Grand Prize winner.”

They’re writing you a check, made payable to you. It’s yours. Do as you will. But, if you want, you *may* use it towards payment on a car lease. Or a boat. Or lottery tickets. Or Eliot Spitzer’s girlfriend.


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