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Apr 12, 2001
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Among the many anecdotes about Steve Jobs included in Ken Segall's new book, Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success, one in particular stands out for its glimpse into Jobs' character, providing evidence of his willingness to engage in playful ideas when the mood suited him. The story takes place relatively soon after the launch of the original iMac, with Jobs wanting to find a high-profile way to celebrate the sale of the millionth one to mark Apple's comeback from the dead.
Steve's idea was to do a Willy Wonka with it. Just as Wonka did in the movie, Steve wanted to put a golden certificate representing the millionth iMac inside the box of one iMac, and publicize that fact. Whoever opened the lucky iMac box would be refunded the purchase price and be flown to Cupertino, where he or she (and, presumably, the accompanying family) would be taken on a tour of the Apple campus.

Steve had already instructed his internal creative group to design a prototype golden certificate, which he shared with us. But the killer was that Steve wanted to go all out on this. He wanted to meet the lucky winner in full Willy Wonka garb. Yes, complete with top hat and tails.
Those in the room with Jobs were amused by his excitement over the idea, but less than enthusiastic about seeing it come to fruition. Fortunately for those looking for a way out of it, California law required that all such sweepstake contests allow entry without requiring a purchase. Given that people would then be able to enter the contest without purchasing an iMac and there in fact being a very good chance that the winner wouldn't be an iMac owner or even an Apple fan, Jobs' pet idea for a Willy Wonka-themed prize was cast aside.

Article Link: Steve Jobs' Plan for a Willy Wonka-Style Celebration of the Millionth iMac
 

levitynyc

macrumors 65816
Aug 19, 2006
1,116
3,390
I never thought my life could be
Anything but catastrophe
But suddenly I begin to see
A bit of good luck for me

Cause I've got a golden ticket
I've got a golden twinkle in my eye
 

iMikeT

macrumors 68020
Jul 8, 2006
2,304
1
California
Too bad, I can imagine a little girl who's dad had his entire factory open up iMac boxes searching for the golden ticket like in the movie.
 

WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2007
2,567
1,666
Yet another example of government taking the fun out of everything. Haha.

You got downvoted, but it really is. Who is harmed by this law not existing? What reasonable person would be offended by having to purchase a product to be entered into a contest?

No one benefits from a silly law like this. I'm sure there's some theoretical antitrust mumbo jumbo someone can come up with to justify it, but come on. All it did was ruin a really fun idea.
 

Jaredly

macrumors member
Jan 28, 2010
66
0
You got downvoted, but it really is. Who is harmed by this law not existing? What reasonable person would be offended by having to purchase a product to be entered into a contest?

No one benefits from a silly law like this. I'm sure there's some theoretical antitrust mumbo jumbo someone can come up with to justify it, but come on. All it did was ruin a really fun idea.

In this case I agree with you. But what this law is trying to prevent is from anybody else starting a lottery (which is done by the state). They basically passed this law so that they could have a monopoly on lotteries.
 

iMikeT

macrumors 68020
Jul 8, 2006
2,304
1
California
Jobs the Apple Man...

Who can take a sunrise
Bring Apple back from the dead
Cover it with magic and a miracle or two
The Apple Man can, Jobs, the Apple Man can
The Apple Man can cause he mixes it up with love and makes the say "OoOOo".
 
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wikus

macrumors 68000
Jun 1, 2011
1,795
2
Planet earth.
You got downvoted, but it really is. Who is harmed by this law not existing? What reasonable person would be offended by having to purchase a product to be entered into a contest?

No one benefits from a silly law like this. I'm sure there's some theoretical antitrust mumbo jumbo someone can come up with to justify it, but come on. All it did was ruin a really fun idea.

You think thats bad? Try living in Ontario, Canada. Bylaws here are rampant, they make life a sterile nightmare. It doesnt help that Canadians are passive either, the government says jump, Canadians say 'how high?'
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,782
16,500
Central U.S.
You got downvoted, but it really is. Who is harmed by this law not existing? What reasonable person would be offended by having to purchase a product to be entered into a contest?

Ok then—let's try this everybody:

Yet another example of the government putting the fun into everything!

Because this is clearly what happened instead. By Steve Jobs not dressing up as Willy Wonka and making a possible dream come true for a Mac user, the world is a more fun / better place.

I can haz upvotes now?

Edit: I see my OP is swinging back the other way, lol.
 

drjsway

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2009
936
2
You got downvoted, but it really is. Who is harmed by this law not existing? What reasonable person would be offended by having to purchase a product to be entered into a contest?

No one benefits from a silly law like this. I'm sure there's some theoretical antitrust mumbo jumbo someone can come up with to justify it, but come on. All it did was ruin a really fun idea.

If this were legal, everyone would be able to start lotteries. Apple's contest might look legitimate but you can sell $5 paper clips with a chance to win a million dollars.
 

danembraceddc

macrumors newbie
Sep 6, 2007
17
0
Little known fact, the glass cube on Fifth Ave. was made from all the disassembled glass elevators that Steve commissioned for this event.
 

theBB

macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2006
2,453
3
You got downvoted, but it really is. Who is harmed by this law not existing? What reasonable person would be offended by having to purchase a product to be entered into a contest?

No one benefits from a silly law like this. I'm sure there's some theoretical antitrust mumbo jumbo someone can come up with to justify it, but come on. All it did was ruin a really fun idea.
Gambling is quite restricted in the US, just like prostitution, marijuana and nudity. There are a large number of voters who would be offended if this law was repealed. (Many companies would sprout overnight offering contests in return for token purchases, rather than outright lottery tickets, to serve as unregulated alternatives to lotteries or sports bets). Whether you'd call such voters "reasonable" is another matter.
 

japasneezemonk

macrumors 6502
Jun 13, 2005
464
68
Nomad
This is the type of stuff that Walter Isaacson should have included in Steve Jobs Bio. This would have been funny to see in real life.

Now I have an excuse to buy this book, hope there are more stories like this.
 
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