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Go Ask Mom

Lynda Loveland: Fair kid trick

Posted October 10, 2012

Lynda Loveland

I grew up at the fair showing cattle. It holds a lot of special memories for me. So I love taking my kids now, walking them through the barns and showing them what I used to do.

They like it to, but only for so long. The pull of the Midway is waaaayyy too strong! The games, the rides, the food … all very tempting for a young-un. The rides and the food I can handle, but the games drive me nuts! No matter what the kids did it seemed like they’d only win some small, crappy toy filled with those little white beads that my dog couldn’t wait to get a hold of! Except that year when my son won FIVE goldfish. Who does that?

Anyway, I came up with an idea a few years ago. I’d find a game my kids really liked, look for a nice game operator I thought would be open to bargaining and then make my pitch. “If I give you $10/15/20 right off the bat, will you let my kid play the game for a little while and then give him/her a medium toy?”

It worked like a charm most of the time! I know it may sound like a lot, but you come out ahead at the end and you’re not stuck with a SCTFWB (small crappy toy filled with white beads).

And you didn’t hear it from me.

See you at the deep-fried stands!

Do you have any tricks?

Lynda is the mom of three and co-host of Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM's Bill & Lynda in the Morning. Find her here on Thursdays. Click here to see her Facebook page.


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  • rosie48 Oct 13, 2012

    "Bribe" worked like a charm today at the Fair. My 5 year old grandson wanted to win a life sized Superman in the worst way. Don't you know he was just on the edge of the blue outlined star with one of his dart throws! We were all certain he had one. The game operator tells me he didn't win it, I offered her $10 for the win and we settled for $20. That little boy carried the huge tacky looking Superman around the Fair like he had won a brand new Corvette! I am $20 poorer but will never forget the smile on his face!

  • ncsuweatherman Oct 11, 2012

    When I picked out my high school class ring, I didn't pick the stone color based on the month I was born, but instead I picked it based on one of my school's colors, dark blue. It just so happened that color is most similar to the stone color for those born in September. Since I was actually born in March, I decided to test out my theory that if I wore this ring to the state fair to play the "Guess Your Birth Month" game, I may just trick the guesser. The first and only time I did it, my theory tested true. Sure enough, the guy guessing my birth month picked September after a few moments. If you do try it, just be sure not to try bringing attention to the ring; those "little details" seem to be just the give-away answers that they're looking for!

  • marimom Oct 11, 2012

    I have asked the game operator (out of earshot of my kids) how much it will cost to get a certain item that my child wants. Only the kid friendly game operators will tell me that if I pay a certain amount they will give me the prize I want even if my child does not "win" that item.

  • rcarroll Oct 11, 2012

    I have done pretty much the same thing... We all know the game that has all of the months laid out, and several holidays?... To play, you would have to place a quarter on the month or holiday of your choice. someone would toss a dice with 16 sides or so to determine what month wins. Well, instead of playing on a particular month over and over trying to win, I simply played a quarter on every month at once. Then in order to upgrade to a larger prize, I would do the same thing a second time. So for a total of $8, I would get my GF a decent, medium prize.