The Time Canada’s Wonderland Promotion was Exploitable

Math, probability and game theory are one of my most favorite things to study.

Sometimes companies get too greedy and slip up.

Canada’s Wonderland decides they could make a bit of extra money by selling line by-pass tickets by offering a game for $5.

You could propel a ball and have it land to one of the price slots.

The problem? They were giving out tickets to paid rides, the Xtreme Skyflyer ticket alone was worth $70, not to mention the other rides like bumper cars.

Using some simple math, suppose the chance of getting the Xtreme Skyflyer was 2 in 10. Each spin costed $5 to pull. This means on average you will hit this Xtreme Skyflyer within 5 shots. A cost of $25 instead of the face price of $70.

You would also get a bunch of other line by-passes and tickets.

So what happened? Let’s just say we went on a bunch of rides that day and were able to help a few friends out experience a few fun rides that they otherwise would not be able to.

Xtreme Skyflyer ride:

As of 2019 unfortunately they have removed all of the rides that cost money as prizes. They have also doubled the price per spin to $10.

C’est la vie

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