Question of the Day

From Abi, not to be confused with Abbi who is our Cynical Inquisitor General of all General Inquiries:

What have you won, if anything?

I won first place in a science fair in the fifth grade. When it comes to games of chance I never win anything. I’ve played several million hands of video poker in my lifetime and I’ve never even gotten a Royal Flush (the odds are about 649,740 to 1). And I’m counting simulations and real games.

Any Cynics out there ever win anything? (Besides beauty pageants of course)


  1. In 1966 my grandpa bought a raffle ticket in my and my brothers’ name. We won the grand prize which was a brand new 1966 Mustang! (My parents sold the car 2 yrs later to get a convertible.)

  2. I’ve won mostly academic awards and scholarships. When I was in fifth grade, I attended a Catholic school which was hosting a psalm writing contest. Somehow, I managed to snag first place. I vaguely recall writing something to the effect of “God help me obey my parents, believe in you, be good, etc.”, knowing full well that even at that age, this was all bullshit.

  3. Best win was a Schecter Jazz 6 guitar from Musician’s Friend. Gambling I’ve won little bits here and there, $700 on slots at Vegas for red/white/blue 7’s on one quarter, had I been playing two it would have been $2400, but to a young man of 22 it was plenty of drinking money.
    I did win an award as ‘Top Industrial Arts’ student in high school – nothing attached to it other than a fancy piece of paper from Bank of America.

  4. Trip for two to Jamaica, all expenses, took my girlfriend–It was the Grand prize in a radio contest. Since then, I always enter contests and raffles. Haven’t won anything that big since, but have gotten a lot of Cubs and Bulls tickets and a very nice lunch. A lot of people won’t enter a contest that requires them to do something such as writing or photography. These are your best bets because there are so fewer entries to compete with. When do we get a Cynical-C contest?

  5. @ Erich – Insider tip to winning big-ticket radio contests: When you qualify for the draw (by being the 9th caller or whatever) act like you’ve just won a million dollars. The jocks are writing your names down on a big list, and if you sound excited, you’ll get a big star beside your name. The big prizes are rarely chosen randomly.

  6. Hmmm…I have won at life. Happy, healthy family, fantastic husband, beautiful kids and stable jobs for hubby and I.

    I’ve never one any kind of prizes, though. It used to bug me, not any more.

  7. Yesterday i won a selection of cds from a radio station. All i had to do was guess the year from the songs played.In 2004 i won an apple mac and ipod in another comp.

  8. I won tickets to the sold out Blink 182 concert in Chicago last Saturday. It was the best concert and experience in a long time, if not ever. Then again, it’s been a while since I’ve had bacon. But this was close.

  9. I had 14 hits in the Spanish soccer pools a few years ago, in a particularly easy week (there were like 300 winners or so). I won 6,000 euros. I spent most of it in booze and hookers; the rest I squandered.

  10. When I was twelve my school made us all enter a national competition to design a bike safety helmet, which I won.


  11. Back in 1998, I won a Full Monty contest, run by a national newspaper. The prize was a week in Sheffield (where I live), staying at the Holiday Inn overlooking (overlooking my place of work).

  12. Back in 1998, I won a Full Monty contest, run by a national newspaper. The prize was a week in Sheffield (where I live), staying at the Holiday Inn (overlooking my place of work).

  13. 4th Grade Science Fair. Quite a number of +$100 scratch off lottery tickets. $500 in Carribean Poker at a local casino (the dealer didn’t qualify), Ozzy tickets. KISS tickets, Genesis tickets on the radio.

  14. LOL! @ Bender #15

    I won 6,000 euros. I spent most of it in booze and hookers; the rest I squandered.

    I won a Coca-Cola vending machine from my local supermarket once! Filled it with beers and charged a quarter a can and made enough $ to refill it after a house party!

  15. MVP on my freshman year high school baseball team (yippee). A crappy WinCE PDA in a raffle at a Microsoft recruiting event in college. Runner-up (not exactly a win, I guess) in a NLHE poker tournament in Reno ($900).

  16. I have won:
    – My cub scout pack’s Pinewood Derby, with a car I actually built without Dad’s help
    – A handful of bar trivia contests
    – Various swimming races
    – Various debate tournament rounds
    – A $5 bet on the Red Sox winning the World Series in 2004 (made at the beginning of the season)
    – My fantasy baseball league last season
    – My high school graduating class’ French Language and Culture award

  17. I won an Energizer Bunny watch for entering a coloring contest when I was little; remember, kids, stay in the lines 😉 Won a 14-speed blender, which mixed many a margarita in college. And most recently, won a book from Goodreads. So yeah…not really that exciting now that I think of it.

  18. I won an Aeron chair in a contest on At the time, I felt the need to explain myself every time someone came over that I was not an internet bubble douche.

  19. I won an academic prize for excellence in foreign language study back in high school. Shiny medal and a ceremony which I fell asleep during, which was fairly appropriate given I did sleep through about 20% of high school.

  20. I have a collection of archery medals, SCCA event plaques, and a couple writing awards. My last writing award ceremony I spent giggling in the back of the room with a friend drawing pictures of pimps. Totally missed them calling my name.

    I’ve also won a couple awards for paintings and drawings, but none really paid out. Guess that’s what they mean by starving artist.

  21. Last November I won the Midnight Poker Madness at the Bicycle Casino here in Los Angeles. Before that I had won smaller poker tournaments but nothing to that extent (there were over 1000 players). It wasn’t life-changing money but it was enough to pay off some bills and buy a new car!

  22. A Moria Orc statuette thingie from Sideshow Collectibles, just before the Fellowship of the Ring came out, all those many years ago.

  23. I won a National Merit Scholarship in 1976. A ribbon at some county fair for a quilt. And just this year, I won an award from the founder of Square Root Day for a post I wrote about it at mental floss.

    My husband won $10 in the lottery yesterday.

  24. I won $75 in a poetry contest at school. I have no idea how many people entered (maybe a hundred; I did see the final stack of entries at one point), but considering I hate poetry, I was quite surprised to have written a better poem than any of them.

  25. Back in the early 80s, I won tickets for a remastered showing of Ziggy Stardust from a local Detroit radio station, WLBS. The station was a little over a mile from my house, and I remember my riding my bicycle up there to try to meet INXS when we heard them being interviewed live on the air.

    Never actually got to meet Michael Hutchence, but seeing Bowie on the big screen at Royal Oak Music Theatre was pretty rockin’ for a 14 or 15 year old.

  26. Not counting acheivements in swimming…
    -Roller blades from Swiss Chalet, I drew the best Easter egg.
    -$5 in high school, pie eating contest.
    -$100 in college from Canadian comedian James Cunningham, finance-themed dancing contest.
    -Trip for 2 to Panama Beach in college at a Pub Night, Dancing contest. I sold it to a friend because I couldn’t go :(.

    For the record, I suck at dancing. I had a lot of Rez support and pity on my side.

  27. I won a CD player in 1990, before most people had them, so I got to be cool in high school for a little while. And when “Fire Walks With Me” was coming out, I won 4th and 6th prize in a contest over Twin Peaks trivia because I entered so many times. I won an OralB toothbrush from ABC, and I won Season One of Leave it to Beaver from TVLand. I also won a special Hot Rock Star fun set from a teacher workshop last spring. Woowee! I’m a very lucky girl! Maybe never great sums of money, or a trip to exotic locations, but the lessons I’ve learned from that little Beaver kid are truly immeasurable.

  28. Hm. I rarely if ever win anything physical. I did however, win a design competition being held by the California transit agency’s student program concerning the best presentation and site modification for the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge. That project just sits behind my door collecting dust and lint.

    I did however, get a 1000 dollar scholarship out of that.

  29. Back in second grade I won a bicycle from the grand opening of one of those places that was basically a large-scale McDonald’s play area.

    In college I won “Best Academic Essay” in the theatre department for my paper on Lysistrata. I had no idea there was even a contest until I was presented with a certificate and $100! Woohoo 🙂

    Other stuff: poetry contest in 9th grade, Bank of America English award at high school graduation.

    But the achievement I look back on with the fondest memories was Best Greek Float for my sorority’s participation in the annual UC Davis/town of Davis celebration called “Picnic Day.” WE WERE MOTHERFUCKING RAINBOW CRAYONS, and the car was our Crayola box. It was pretty sweet 🙂

  30. A few soccer tournaments when i was younger. A few bar dart tournaments. I got a $1000 from a scratch off lottery ticket once. (odds- 120,000 to 1) Most recently I won an ipod shuffle from a radio contest.

  31. I won first prize in a colouring competition when I was four or five. It was a Flintstones backpack. I was slightly confused but really proud.

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