The likelihood is that we’d all like to be on the receiving end of a car as a prize for participating in something, right? That conjures up images of participating in a game show like Wheel of Fortune, where one of the possible rewards for being the finalist is a new sports car. However, that’s not the only kind of competition that provides the potential for winning a car as a prize. In various other areas of life, it’s not uncommon to come across someone trying to get you to participate in a competition with a car being the sole prize.
Take a look at airports or shopping centres, for example. Have you ever been walking through your local shopping mall and seen a large, shiny and flashy sports car on a podium being rotated around for all to see? You stop and take a look at the car before a man approaches you and asks you if you want to purchase a ticket to enter a raffle. This, he tells you, will give you a chance to win the car you see in front of your eyes. That sort of competition seems too good to be true, right? You buy a ticket for £5 or £10, add your details to it and have the chance to win an expensive car as a result. Is it really worth you entering?
That’s what we’re going to be taking a look at today. Car prize games can be found in various locations, but what are the chances of actually winning that big prize? And furthermore, who regulates these competitions, as they are a form of gambling, right? How is the prize draw done fairly? Does someone in specific draw the winning ticket or is all information entered into an electronic system instead to be drawn? Let’s find out more about the car prize games and how they operate.
Who is Responsible for the Car Prize Competitions?
While it is true that multiple companies could be providing these offers, one of the main brands behind such competitions is known as Best of the Best. This is an established company, which has been active in UK airports since 1999, and having given away cars to people over two decades.
Best of the Best gives away two brand new cars every single week, with free servicing and insurance for the first year, according to the company website. In total, that means the company has given away £43 million in prizes, with the optional cash add-on of up to £50,000 in the Dream Car Competition and up to £20,000 in the Midweek Car Competition.
The CEO of the company is William Hindmarch, who founded the company based on his own love for cars. He wanted to give regular people the chance to win their own car of their dreams for a small amount of money. He set up the company’s headquarters, which can be found in Parsons Green, London, and provides roles for 20 people within. Hinmarch’s very first location was in Heathrow Airport, Terminal 4. It then became effective enough to expand, with a position in Gatwick. By 2010, the company had sites at all of the UK’s major airports, including Edinburgh, Manchester, Stanstead and Luton.
Best of the Best then moved into shopping centres in 2014, starting out in Westfield Shopping Centre in London. Not only that, but the company has found itself providing winning opportunities at various festivals and events, further expanding its reach. It is all of these achievements that have led to the brand being listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.
How Does the Competition Work?
Best of the Best runs two competitions for you to enter into, which are the Dream Car and Midweek Car options. This can be partaken in via one of the official stands at the sites that the company is active at or online through the official website. You just need to add tickets to your basket for the prizes that you are interested in winning. Up to 75 tickets per customer, per competition can be bought, and these cost differing amounts, but usually don’t go above £2 – £3.
These tickets give you the opportunity to win cars like the Audi Saloon Vorsprung, Volkswagen Golf R Estate, Mercedes AMG CLA45S Shooting Brake and BMW M340i xDrive Touring, amongst many others.
Those purchased tickets basically gain you entry into a miniature skill game, and it is this that makes it legal under UK legislation. We’ll get to that more later on, but you generally play a game called Spot the Ball for the Dream Car or Midweek Car competition or the skilled multiple choice question for the Lifestyle Competition. Best of the Best doesn’t work in the same way as some other unscrupulous brands, which collect your information to use for marketing purposes or to sell on to other companies so that they can generate leads. Instead, it makes its money from the sales of its tickets. The company pays out the necessary money to get its prize cars on good deals and then pays for its stands at the airports, shopping centres or wherever.
After playing the relevant skill game, you proceed to the checkout of the website. Your purchase of the tickets is then verified after you enter payment details, and your entries are secured. That’s all it takes from you, the player.
Once the competition timeframe comes to an end with the car options, the Spot the Ball picture that was used to choose your coordinates is shown to a judging panel. This is made up of multiple professional sporting experts. With an independent lawyer present, they mark where they think the centre of the ball should be, using their professional knowledge to do so. The winner of the car is simply the person who was closest to the position marked. With regard to the Lifestyle Competition, the winner is drawn from all the correct question entries by PromoVeritas, which is the UK’s leading independent promotional verification setup.
How is the Competition Regulated?
We touched upon the subject a little earlier on, but the fact that the tickets you buy grant you entry into a skill game or multiple-choice question round is how the competition is lawful. It is true to say that many people opt to raffle off high value items, including houses and cars, and this is done by running either free draws or prize competitions.
These are not considered as forms of gambling by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, and therefore, it does not regulate them in any way. It also doesn’t offer any advice on how they should be organised or whether they are safe for people to enter. Instead, these types of draws are advised upon by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and CAP. It is necessary for prize draw marketers to seek out legal advice so as to ensure that they aren’t running an illegal lottery in error.
In traditional prize draws, the winner is chosen completely at random from all valid entries, which is precisely how these car games are operated.
Where Best of the Best is concerned, the winners are chosen under the supervision of an independent observer, and this follows the rules of the ASA.
It is for all of these reasons that the car prize games can operate lawfully and out of the control of the Gambling Commission. If the tickets were bought without the necessity of playing the aforementioned skill games, then it would essentially be considered as a lottery. In this respect, alternative rules would need to be followed – rules that are set out by the Commission.
What Are the Odds of Winning the Car?
Now you know about how the prize games work, how to involve yourself in them and that they are legal operations. However, is it actually possible to be a winner of one of the dream cars that the company is offering?
Well, one of the main issues surrounding this type of competition is that Best of the Best does not make any mention of the number of entries per car prize. You would obviously stand a better chance of being a winner if just 10 people were buying tickets for the Midweek Car competition rather than 1,000 people, for example. Unfortunately, that knowledge is not readily provided by the company, so it is necessary instead to do a bit of detective work.
It isn’t really quite as simple as figuring out the numbers behind a standard lottery, despite the fact that the competition has similarities to such. Variables are involved, such as how accurate your guess at Spot the Ball is. Clearly, this has an outright impact on whether you will be closer to being a winner than someone else playing.
Professional sports stars judge the winning location and if two players have the exact same winning location, then it is the player with the next closest ticket who receives the car prize. Although it is not necessary for you to pick the exact location that the judges select, the closer you are the better. More often than not, when it comes to the car winner, they have chosen the exact same location, and this is quite likely due to the large volume of people playing each week. With such a vast number of participants, someone is only bound to pick the same spot as the judges. The price of the ticket varies depending upon the car you want to win, and these points are all things to remember.
The fact that there are so many variables involved in being a winner of one of these car prizes stands out as one reason why the odds are heavily stacked against you. Combine that with a large number of people participating each week in the competitions and this gets even heavier. Different calculations, depending upon the low to high accuracy of your Spot the Ball guess, the price of a ticket and the value of the car prize, determine the odds.
Are those odds better than what you can expect from playing games at an online casino site? Absolutely not! And this is especially true when you look at casino games like blackjack or video poker, which have low house edges. In fact, you would also find it to be much more valuable if you wagered on the National Lottery, and this provides a 1 in 45 million chance of you winning an average £10 million payout.
Are These Car Competitions Recommended?
Anyone who is thinking rationally and who has read through this post will look at the car prize games and think negatively on them. You’d be right to do so, too. Of course, they should really be taken as a bit of fun, rather than something serious. In effect, don’t buy tickets for them and expect to win the car. Instead, buy tickets and have fun with the possibility of there being a small chance of coming out on top.
Of course, such competitions are offered in airports and shopping malls because people tend to have time to kill while they wait around. The cars are displayed on stands and look amazing, so there’s always a temptation there to just have a bit of a punt. Perhaps your upcoming holiday has put you in a good mood and you think that buying tickets for a potential car win will be a great thing.
That’s not to say that people have never won cars from Best of the Best. In June of this year, Glyn Copperwheat, 67 of Doncaster was enjoying his time at home when Christian Williams from the company turned up at his house. He was there to inform Mr Copperwheat that he had won his own brand-new BMW worth £52,000 as well as £30,000 in cash from the Midweek Car Competition. However, the player had been participating in the BOTB games for many years before he actually won. In fact, he said that he had played from the early days when they were solely accessible in airports. Despite the fact that Mr Copperwheat had only paid £1.85 for his ticket and won the BMW, the likelihood is that he has spent a lot more on the car prize games over the years.