Many years ago my local supermarket was having a promotion. They handed out scratch cards, with the chance of winning $500,000 (numbers have been changed to reflect current market value and changed to $ currency). It was lined up as a pyramid, and if you scratched and LOST, then similar to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, you would lose all winnings preceding that.
With each purchase you received a card. So I scratched off the card upon receipt anticipating at most a bag of chips, but most likely nothing. I won $5. I quickly scratched off the next level and saw I won $50. At this point, I decided to pay more attention. So I took the card home and sat down with it, and then carefully scratched off the next level. At this time in my life (probably 18 years ago), $50 was nothing to throw away, but certainly was worth the risk for a win of $500.
When I saw that I won $500, I took it MUCH more seriously. I read the back, the fine print. When I discovered that the promotion was continuing for several weeks, and I was my way to visit family soon, I decided to hold off scratching and allow my brother to do it. I struggled to ‘throw’ away $500 for a chance of $5000… yet I know it was a matter of time before I did it.
I visited my family. and asked my brother to scratch it off. He didn’t even know what he was looking for, but I instantly saw the $5000. I was very excited. This was like 6 months of rent!
But now i was faced with a dilemma. A good one, but nevertheless. Should I redeem the $5000 or should I continue.
According to the fine print, the chances to win from $5000 to $50000 was either 20% or 25% (1 in 4 or 1 in 5). Then the chances to go from $50000 to $500000 was 50% (1 in 2).
So… what would you have done?