Perhaps you’ve heard of the Great Grocery Giveaway? It is a contest of sorts that a number of stores are engaging in. In the Nelson County, Virginia area, the participating store is Food Lion. There are two possible ways of winning-one is to scratch three out of nine circles to reveal identical prizes. The other method of winning is to match an online winning code as revealed at the Great Grocery Giveaway website.

**How Much?**

What are the odds of winning a prize in the scratch portion of the contest? The author has scratched dozens of cards he and his wife obtained at the local grocery store. The first circle to be scratched is one of nine possible circles. Since there are three circles marked with the possible prize, the first successful scratch represents a three-out-of-nine possibility of being picked correctly-3:9. That leaves only two correct circles out of eight circles remaining for the second scratch. The odds of picking a second potential winning choice are thus 2:8. To pick a third potential winner, there is only one of the seven remaining, or 1:7.

**So What are the Odds?**

The odds, then, of picking the winner depends upon the product of the three, which is: 3/9 times 2/8 times 1/7, which equals 6/504 or 1/84. The contestant has a one out of eighty-four chance of winning the prize. By far, the odds are of winning one single dollar. Of course if the prize is larger, one has a 1/84 chance of winning that larger prize. They are relatively few, however.

What is the largest prize won as of August 21, 2010 at 3:17 p.m. (the time this article was being written)? There is listed only one $100 winner1 for the scratch portion of the contest. That is the highest prize listed so far – less than one week’s groceries for most people. Theoretically, prizes can go considerably higher. Perhaps some of them will actually be claimed.

Online code winners have fared better and stand to win more total dollars-but perhaps that is to be expected, as many persons won’t bother going online at all, an unclaimed prizes go unrewarded. The highest dollar amount in that portion of the contest won so far is also $100. The number of those winners so far is forty-nine.

**Great Grocery Giveaway – Who?**

Keeping these statistics in mind, would you call this contest The Great Grocery Giveaway? That is for you to decide. As for this writer, I would have to say, No, I would not. I’ve won more “groceries” in the form of French fries, sodas, or ice cream sundaes in McDonald’s contests.

1 Prizes cited are for Food Lion only. Other stores in the contest have given away higher-valued prizes.