June 23, 2012

Lottery forced to pay after judge finds advertisement misleading

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 12:11 pm

You know those lottery ads where in big print it says you’ve won and then somewhere in the small print it says you haven’t won at all, except perhaps for the right to hand over your cash?

Well, one Dutch judge thought enough was enough and has found for six plaintiffs who thought they had won 2,500 euro each.

In a letter that the winners received in October 2010 from Postcode Loterij, the impression was given that the recipients were guaranteed winners if the two unique codes they received with the letter matched the codes printed in a table (see illustration). Once they had sent in their coupons, only one plaintiff received a minor prize and the other five received a lottery ticket—clearly not what they had expected.

The small print said that participants only had a chance of winning the prize, but judge Pauline van der Kolk-Nunes quickly disposed of the T&C: “[The letter] will raise an expectation with the average consumer that they have won a prize […] and that the table shows which prize they have won. The codes and the table are unlikely to have any other meaning. [The small print] contradicts the core of the agreement, which is: you will receive a gift.”

Karma can be cruel.

Postcode Loterij is planning to appeal the decision.

See also: The battle to outlaw poker rages on

(Illustration: iusmentis.com / Postcode Loterij. The text reads: “Do you have one of these codes on your lucky coin? And do you have a valid gift code? Then you will receive one of these gifts, guaranteed. Which gift is yours?”)

Tags: , , , , , ,

April 26, 2012

Lottery stops giving away bikes, man stops dumping bikes

Filed under: Bicycles,Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:06 pm

A year ago, a town won 2,000 bicycles from a national lottery that picks its winners based on their postal codes.

Bike shops were not happy, as they claimed they lost business. This year, the national lottery stopped giving away bikes for that exact reason: they kill local cycle shop business.

The lottery used to award 1,000 bikes to winners who lived in the same postcode area. But several cycle shop owners said this was wiping out their business – particularly if the prize fell in a small village.

In other weird bicycle-related news, a ‘mentally disturbed’ man from Friesland was caught dumping 60 stolen bikes in a canal. Onlookers fished out a dozen bikes out of the water, and the local police helped fish out the rest. The man is apparently getting professional help for his problem.

(Links: opmerkelijk.nieuws.nl, www.dutchnews.nl)


April 21, 2011

Small town neighbourhood wins 2,000 bikes

Filed under: Bicycles,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:08 am
Pink bike

A neighbourhood in the town of Schagen, North Holland won 2,000 bicycles from a national lottery that picks its winners using their postal codes. Normally a few streets win prizes, usually money, but this time it was a bigazz pile of bicycles. That’s all really nice, but some man ended up with 14 bikes, which is a bit much.

The bike shops in the small town have told local telly station they were not happy with the possibility of losing business, but in good entrepreneurial spirit, they have stepped up advertising accessories and theft insurance.

Quikc idea: give your 10 extra bikes to the poor? Of course you can also sell them, but obviously not to your neighbours.

(Link: waarmaarraar)

Tags: ,

January 1, 2011

Winner new year’s lottery has to pay income tax twice

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 3:50 pm

The Dutch revenue service (Belastingdienst) has announced that the winner of the Staatsloterij Jackpot will have to pay income tax over these winnings for both 2010 and 2011.

Since 2001 the Dutch income tax is divided into three parts, a tax on wages, a tax on business interests (including dividends), and a tax on savings and investments. The latter category is calculated by taking the money you own on December 31 and the money you own on January 1 of that same year, and halving it. You then pay a one percent tax on the resulting average, the idea being that an average person should be able to realize a profit each year on their savings of investments of 4%, which is essentially a sort of income.

The tax service takes its own formulas very serious and figures that since the prize is won in the dying seconds of 2010, the winner also has to pay this tax on savings over 2010, even if they have not been able to collect and enjoy the prize.

Tax law professor Ruben Freudenthal has been quizzing his students for years on exactly this eventuality, and sides with the Belastingdienst. He told Financieel Dagblad: “Right after the draw the lottery ticket becomes valuable. You could sell it to somebody else.”

The 2010 lottery had a jackpot worth 27.5 million euro. The 2010 tax would amount to 137,500 euro.

Tags: , , , , ,