Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Public Service Announcement

Here's something of interest:

Ming Thein Anniversary Sweepstakes.

This is almost certainly an illegal sweepstakes. At best it is improperly announced, as it lacks the required "no purchase required" (US law) and the required laundry list of people who are excluded from entering. (but see updates below)

If B&H is indeed sponsoring this, someone's about to get their job examined carefully. B&H doesn't need more trouble. If B&H isn't sponsoring it, well, a host of other questions get raised, don't they? I'll keep my opinions to myself.

Since I know there are Ming fans reading here from time to time, I am passing this along. By all means, pass along your affliate dollars to Ming. However, if you're allowing the chance to win $500 tip your purchase decision, I urge you to dig a little deeper and perhaps hold off a little while waiting for things to be more sure. I have placed an informative comment in to Ming's moderation queue, which he may or may not choose to do something with.

EDIT (to actually state a conclusions): In short, I cannot see any way in which the $500 prize award is not at risk, and I recommend caution. note that with the addition of the link to the sweepstakes rules, in my opinion, this caution can be relaxed. I may enter myself!

UPDATE: Ming's post now includes a link to BH Photo's web site with sweepstakes rules. All now appears to be, in broad strokes, kosher. I am not a lawyer, however. Note that you can also enter by sending a postcard to BH Photo, and not spending any money.

Also note that there is no limit of the number of entries per person. As far as I can see I can send a parcel containing 10000 properly filled out postcards to B&H and get 10,000 valid entities.

Curiouser and Curiouser: Customer service at B&H denies that B&H is sponsoring it. "His contest" and suggests that Ming bought the gift card. I can't tell if this is just that B&H is big and customer service isn't aware of what the social media team is up to, or what.


  1. True, the offer has all three of the criteria for an illegal lottery in the U.S.: prize, consideration, and chance. But I think that in this case the guy deserves to be seen as blindsided. The promotion appears to have originated with B&H. Whether making the offer via an offshore third party absolves B&H of wrongdoing is fodder for much more highly paid minds than mine.

    1. Yeah, I guess I didn't conclude very well in my remarks, let me insert an edit ;)