Unlikely coincidence sees top scratchcard prize won by three people on Ryanair flight

26 April 2011

Bitterwallet - Ryanair new plane liveryIt's Ryanair's latest wheeze! Buy your seat and get a car! There are three to give away on every flight! Incredible! How they turn a profit is beyond me, etc.

Here's the skinny. Three passengers flying from Milan to Madrid bought a Ryanair £2 scratchcard. The top prize for winning is a car worth £11,500. Normally Ryanair only has one top prize winner a month from scratchcard sales. In this instance, all three players in question won the car. Ryanair is blaming the error on the company that prints the scratchcards, but will honour all the winning cards.

Where did news of this story break? In the newspapers? Had the winners talked to the press? Nope. It originated in a Ryanair press release.  Not hugely unusual, but then you can't usually stop the gobs on passengers when they've something to say; if three people each won a car on the same flight, everybody would have known about it.

Still, it won't happen again, will it?

"Ryanair generally releases one free car in its €2 scratchcard game each month but admitted that it doesn’t know whether there are any more of these printing error €2 scratchcards still on sale on its flights."

What's that? You mean there could be any number of top prizes still to be won? That's incredible! Especially when you consider that the printing and checking of high-value scratchcards is a meticulous business. Furthermore, despite the risk that there could be dozens of top prizes available, not a single person at Ryanair has considered having the scratchcards removed from sale and replaced, a scenario that would guarantee the mistake could not be replicated and therefore potentially save tens of thousands of pounds!

Everyone hearing about the story will certainly have to be sure to buy scratchcards!

But exactly how many people will hear about this in the next couple of days? It's the sort of story that'll be published on the websites of all the major newspapers, the BBC and plenty of others. Many newspapers will also print it in tomorrow's edition - the likes of The Sun may give a half page to the story, along with a photo of the beaming prize winners. Radio stations will then pick up the story as a result of it appearing in the press, national newsgathering organisations will run with it too.

If you were to pay for the press space in the pages of the newspapers; if you bought the airtime on national and local radio; if you paid for a similar number of impressions on websites, then you're probably looking at a campaign worth at least several hundred thousand pounds. That sort of exposure for Ryanair on an investment of three cars bought at less than the retail value would be very worthwhile, because it delivers the double whammy of high-profile marketing for the airline and it increases scratchcards sales too.

Not that Ryanair did it on purpose or anything, you understand.

TOPICS:   Travel


  • Steve
    It is common for printing companies for scratch card types of games to sign contracts where THEY are requird to pay any cost associated with misprints of cards or the removal of games from the street for printing errors. In this case Ryanair will only see upside from any remediation scenario (if I were them I would keep them game out there for just the reasons you mentioned but remeber they have NO finaincial rick) and the printing companiy will be held accountable for all top prizes given out above and beyond the agreed original prize distribution allocations.
  • NellieIrrelevant
    Steve, I think you're missing the point of the article - the whole thing is rigged anyway, by RyanAir. The 'winners' are probably related to/friends of employees of the PR department. You have to admire RyanAir's chutzpah. Actually, on second thoughts, no you don't. They're cunts.
  • Brian A.
    or maybe this is just a cynical ploy by BW to garner traffic by being sued by Ryanair for defamation or similar?
  • Martin
    The downside of winning the car is that you then need to transport all of the passengers the 80km from the airport to where Ryanair made them think they were going.
  • Hugh J.

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