On December 22, in my blog on the Miss Universe debacle, I related the story of the mother of baby Yuki Lin who was awarded $25,000 for giving birth at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day 2007 after temper tantrums arose over the fairness of the contest. I got to wondering, have these types of contests gone the way of the cloth diaper and candy cigarettes? Thankfully, no.
Here are just a few examples of what can you win if first sound you hear after the ball drops is a magical, shrill “I’m here” from your bouncing baby.
- If you’re in Harlan, Iowa, you get 3 different saving accounts ($25, $30, and $50) from local banks, plus a junior saver’s T-shirt and piggy bank, and $10 off your first prescription from the local pharmacy. Yeah!
- If you’re in the West Carroll School District in Illinois, you get, among other things, a 16” pizza from one pizza place and another large one-topping pizza from a different pizza parlor. (I’m not sure if the contest is meant to encourage student pregnancies, the official rules were unclear; but the pizza incentive is questionable.)
- If you’re in Attleboro, MA, you win a $50 gift certificate from a participating sponsor of your choice, which includes the local poultry farm, liquor store and Cupcake Charlie’s.
- In Lake Country, WI, you can win, among other things, a free oil change from Hartland Quik Lube.
Of course, these prizes can sound amusing when local sponsors are up against giant brand, but it makes us remember that local contests have been around for centuries (think of the funeral games described in the Iliad where contest prizes included a lump of iron and a six-year old mule) and their popularity has not waned.
So, if you are nine-months’ pregnant and have no plans for New Year’s Eve, consider making a trip to one of the many locations where giving birth can be like taking candy from a baby (or at least pizza).
Happy New Year (and congratulations to everyone who is lucky enough to have a baby on New Year’s Day).