Thursday, July 27, 2006

Skill Testing Questions

I'm back from Canada, bitches!  (Don't all get up at once to welcome me back.)  Good time, great food, great weather... it got up to a balmy 85 degrees at one point!  But it's nice to go to America Jr. every once in a while, if only to underline the differences between American and Canadian cultures.  Parallel populations, developing in only-somewhat-parallel manners.  More on the trip at a later date (read: once I've forgotten about it).

Of the many differences I encountered last week, here's one I didn't come across.  Apparently it's against the law in Canada to award contest prizes to someone who has won said contest without having performed some kind of "skill."  Deadspin brought up a story of free golf clubs from Sports Illustrated not being distributed due to the requirement of a "skill testing question."  Will assumed it was a gag, but it's not... it's the law.  It has something to do with casinos and gambling, where you cannot win a prize without having   The formality of a skill testing question is required on any sweepstakes or contest in which Canadian citizens participate.

What kills me is that the Canadian courts actually determined what constitutes sufficiently-tested "skill."  Typically the question is a simple math problem, so the courts decided that the math problem has to have, at minimum, three operations in order to justify a prize.  I guess figuring out "1263527653 mod 237647" or the square root of 12374612347861293874628374 isn't skillful, but "2 + (2 x 2) - 2" is.

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