132. Paying to Win
Tom noticed that every morning when he went
school, his mother would give him a letter
drop in the mailbox on the corner. "Who
you writing to so much?" he asked. "I'm
trying my luck," Tom's mother told him.
weeks after Tom started mailing out the letters,
noticed that his mother was getting a lot
mail. Some of the mail advertised on the
that she might already be a winner. His
was also getting many more magazines. Some of
magazines were about things his mother didn't eve
about, like cats.
"Mom, why are you getting
many magazines?" Tom asked her. She told him
she had been entering contests and that part
the process included subscribing to magazines. "It will
my chances of winning the jackpot," she told
. Soon the family mailbox was filled with more
announcements, magazines, and bills.
Tom's mother was surprised.
didn't think that checking off the boxes of
that looked interesting and affixing stickers to the
forms would cost her. She was spending more
more money and hadn't won anything. She wanted
be like the people in the commercials she
on television. People bringing balloons and oversized checks
those people who entered the contests. Tom read
fine print. The magazines weren't free and Tom's
was not increasing her chances of winning anything
subscribing. Tom did some research and found out
had even been lawsuits against the companies running
contests and selling the magazine subscriptions.
bad. "It pays to win, mom, but you
't pay to win," Tom told her. Tom's mother
what she was going to do with all