Dumb contests can take many forms. An example of a dumb contest would be asking people to show up at a car dealer’s grand opening dressed like an Impala, or those ever-popular all you can eat contests. Hot dog eating comes to mind, but there are others too dumb to mention. Often a dumb contest is one that is so easy that it defies even being a contest. Many of these show up online simply to trick people into giving up their email address or entice them to seeing an advertisement, and more often than not there isn’t even a prize. The dumbest I’ve seen are the ones that defy you to think of the name of a state that does not contain the letter “A,” or think of a girl’s name that does not start with a vowel.
I admit to having thought up a real dumb radio contest years ago, while working as program director at KSTT in the Quad-Cities. It was called the “Traveling Postcard Contest.” The premise was simple. Listeners were asked to address a postcard to the radio station, add their own return address, then put that postcard in an envelope and mail it to someone in another city. The winner would be the person whose card was returned from the place that was the farthest away.
My dumbness was proven by one astute listener. He looked at a globe and picked a town on the opposite site of the earth from the Quad-Cities. As I recall it was some town in New Zealand. He sent the envelope to the Postmaster of that town and asked that the enclosed postcard be mailed back.
It made me look pretty stupid – along with the listeners who had cards returned from places like Denver, just 837 miles up Interstate 80, or Indianapolis, even closer. So, if any radio station today is dumb enough to run such a contest, you now know how to win. Just be sure to calculate the postage costs, which are many times what they were when we ran the contest. It might cost you more to enter than the value of the prize.