Why does Canada have skill-testing questions for contests / lotteries?

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All winners who are in Canada have to answer math problems before getting any prize. Things like…

90 x 2, then divide by six, then x 12

This question was for claiming an Xbox 360 in a contest, so the answer of course is 360!

But WHY?? Americans don’t have to do it, a monkey on a stick can win prize in the U.S and not even know how to do 1+2. But in Canada, to even win the McDonald’s
hockey trading cards you need to do these silly computations.
This is actually a loop-hole in Canadian law. Basically, Canada has
anti-gambling laws that make it illegal to sell chances to win a prize,
so there has to be at least some level of skill involved. In the past,
the “skill” challenges involved things like:

  • Count the number of jelly beans in a jar
  • Calculate the time it takes for a barrel to float down a river

However, things like:

  • Shoot a turkey at 50 yard range
  • Quickly peel a potato

TOO easy and Canadian courts have said these last two just don’t make
the cut. LOL shoot a turkey, whoever thought up that is silly, that
sounds more like an American test.

In 1984 is when something big
happened. A court case said that a four-part mathematical question
counts as a “test of skill”. Something like:

228 x 21, then add 10824, then divide by 12, then subtract 1121.

to this court case, almost all product promotion sweepstakes started
using the four-part math problem to test skill and get around the nasty
Canadian laws.

However, in the last 20 years, the four-part
math problem has turned into monkey sticks… some have simplified it
so much that the division they require is by 1. And forget about using
3 digit numbers, 2 digits is good enough. And four-part problem? BAH i
say! BAH! Three-parts should be enough, right? So now you see things

2 x 2, then add 10, then divide by 1.

But is the Canadian government going to crack down on companies posing super easy skill-testing questions? Probably not…

1 thought on “Why does Canada have skill-testing questions for contests / lotteries?”

  1. I think that New Zealand has similar laws. How else to explain a condition of entry in a contest sponsored by a chocolate bar:

    Complete the following phrase: Have a break. Have a K_T K_T.

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