Defeat the Dark Side - Bizarre Canadian Rule/Law

Hi everybody!

I saw something very odd (IMHO) recently at Taco Bell and I knew that someone here would be able to explain it.

On the condensed official rules for the TB/Pizza Hut/KFC “Defeat the Dark Side” game, the last rule states: “Canadian residents required to correctly answer mathematical skill testing question prior to award of prize.”

Does this make any sense? Is this some Canadian law to prevent people who cannot calculate odds from winning?

“I was gonna buy 1000 tacos so that I’d win, but I don’t think I’d pass the math test, eh.”

Or is this a variation on the old, “if you’re still reading this, you need to get a life?”

Thanks all (and no offense to our neighbors to the North)

Not fair!

Was there a rule stating that: “American residents are required to correctly pose a mathematical skill question prior to award of prize”?

Or could it be that the organizers are trying to somehow legally keep the prize in the USA? (americans are NOT required to answer ANY question, right?)

Are you serious about this?

I’d always supposed that that rule is because of Canadian regulations prohibiting private lotteries. There are similar laws in the USA, which is why all those fast-food games always say “No Purchase Necessary” in the fine print.

As I understand it, the US laws basically say that a for-profit company isn’t allowed to run a sweepstakes that costs money to enter. If Taco Bell were to give out game pieces only if you bought something, that’d be illegal. So they structure it so that anyone can get a game piece simply by asking; then entry to the drawing is free, and the game piece attached to your taco is a kind of bonus.

My guess is that the equivalent Canadian law is more restrictive, and doesn’t allow sweepstakes of that kind. So they ask the winner a mathematical question, and they now have a math contest instead of a lottery.

(My confidence in this answer is about a 4 on a 1-10 scale, so if I’m wrong, feel free to call me an idiot. =B^)

Can anybody give an example of the math question you have to answer?

I think it has something to do with “infinite monkies.”

I don’t know specifically in this case, but the examples I’ve seen before have been simple addition or subtraction problems, e.g., 15-3 = ? ). Sometimes there’s a second step.

The problem is simple because the fast food place doesn’t want to look like it’s pulling a fast one by making it too difficult (sorry, the tenth decimial of pi is 5; you’re wrong). The laws only require a skill test and doesn’t specify the level of skill required to pass it.

This was explained to me once a long time ago. As far as I remember it the answer is:

According to some Canadian federal law, only governments are allowed to hold lottories. So, what a private company has to do instead is hold a contest where you ‘win’ the prize by demonstrating some special ability. Usually the ability is solving a math expression and the expression ususally uses all four operators (add, subtract, multiply and divide). In the fine print, you are expressly forbidden to use a calculator.

I remember a former girlfriend who had a (losing) ticket on a 1957 Chev. The skill testing question resolved to 1957, of course, but the funny thing was - she did it on her calculator and the silly thing came up with the wrong answer. Ain’t modern technology wonderful?


I recall seeing this addressed on another thread. I think the answer was that Canadian law prohibits games of chance, so they have to convert these kinds of games into tests of “skill” by requiring contestants to correctly solve a really simple addition problem or something.