Over the weekend, bored gamers leafing through their Sunday papers had their interest piqued by a promotional insert from Toys "R" Us. The retailer has teamed up with the NBC game show Deal or No Deal--which itself is being turned into a PC game--to entice consumers into its stores as the holiday shopping season approaches.
The inserts each contained a game piece which echoed the show's format--it had two suitcases, one marked "deal" and one marked "no deal." The "deal" case gives customers the "deal" of getting 10 percent off a single item at Toys "R" Us. The "no deal" suitcase offers the bearer a chance to enter the Deal or No Deal contest by (predictably) turning up at a Toys "R" Us location before October 28 and having the game piece's bar code scanned. One such piece will award the owner a grand prize of $1 million. Another will dole out the first prize, a free five-day trip to Los Angeles and an appearance on Deal or No Deal with its host, Howie Mandel.
So why should gamers care about a contest that considers glad-handing a once all-but-forgotten stand-up-comic-turned-talk-show host a high honor? Other than the million bucks, the contest is targeting gamers by handing out 50,000 Nintendo devices. According to the official contest rules, 25,000 Wiis will be awarded as second prizes, and 25,000 DS Lites are will be awarded as fourth prizes.
Before they start banging down Toys "R" Us stores, gamers should take note of two things. First, according to the official rules, the odds of winning either a Wii or a DS are 1 in 5,743--which, as far as contests go, isn't actually that remote. Secondly, winners won't be officially recognized until they are notified by mail on or after November 24--meaning winners won't be able to pick up their consoles until Thanksgiving.
Those interested in entering the contest who didn't grab a paper on Sunday can get a free entry form by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the address below by October 22.
"Deal or No Deal NP"
c/o Little & King Co., LLC
31 Merrick Ave., Suite 150
Merrick, NY 11566