Are your competitions bearly memorable or grrrrrreat?

Post published 12th May, 2014

What does the bear in the picture have to do with competitions that you run today?

Read on to find out how this old family photograph of mine has changed the way I think about competitions.

This morning I came in to work with a happy feeling. One of my first jobs of the day was to announce the winner of a competition that we have run recently and to send on the prize. Something I always enjoy doing. But today as I gave the winning news I did wonder a bit if the prize we had given, a voucher for office supplies, could have been a bit more exciting.

The people you see in the picture are my great grandparents, and the bear they are standing with was won by them in a raffle at wild west show that they visited, some time during the 1930s.

They kept the bear at home as a pet in what had previously been a chicken enclosure in the garden, until one day my grandmother took the bear out for a walk and lost it!

I’m not quite sure how you manage to lose a bear, but in my grandmother’s defence if the bear decided to go there would be little that anyone could do to stop it.

Memorable Competition Prize

The 1930s were obviously very different times. The fact that a bear could be won as a prize seems completely bizarre today. I don’t know many people who would want to win such a prize, something that is dangerous, a considerable burden and that must have probably cost quite a bit to feed every week, not to mention concerns for the welfare of the bear itself.

But as I this morning, informed the recipient of their prize, which they were very happy with, I knew that this prize, along with the countless other similar prizes from small business competitions that I see of vouchers, iPads, laptops, although great for the winner will soon be forgotten. The bear on the other hand is something that is still talked about in our family 80 or so years since it was won, and long after the winners are deceased.

Have you ever won a memorable prize or do you know anyone who has? Comment below.

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