About six months ago or so I discovered the Pioneer Woman. I loved reading her site – on her site I could learn about what life is like on a working cattle ranch, how to take better photos, and how to create delicious and decadent meals (or to try to!).
Her site boomed and she suddenly became hugely popular. Due not only to her beautiful photos and her delicious meals, but also to her amazing giveaways.
It’s not abnormal to see Ree give away over $1000 in stuff a month – sometimes it’s closer to $1,500 worth of stuff.
In order to win, usually you just have to leave a comment on her site – usually within a 24 hour period. Then she chooses a winner, usually through a random choice, and the winner wins! Yay! Happiness and joy for everyone!
But, wait, could the Pioneer Woman be lying?
She claims, to begin with, that she uses all of the revenue she makes on the site to pay for the prizes that she gives away. She must be making a hell of a lot of revenue from her site. Now, I’m not saying that she doesn’t make that amount of money and that she doesn’t give away real prizes, but let’s see how easy it would be to fake it.
Okay, so lets say that I’m giving away a $500 gift card to Amazon! Yay! Okay, so I ask people to leave a comment here in order to win it. I get 547 comments and say that I’m going to choose a random commenter to win.
Now here’s what I do – I insert some made up names and comments into the comment section. I pepper four or five of my own comments in there so that I don’t have to actually give anything away.
But wait – if it’s a random draw, how can I be sure that one of my comments are going to be selected? Simple. Okay, let’s say that one of my comments is comment # 78…
Surprise! I win!
But how did I do it if the number were “random”? Simple – you just ask for 1 number integer on Random.org, then you enter the numbers that you want the computer to select between from 77-79, guaranteeing that your only selection is going to be 78.
Is the Pioneer Woman lying about all of the prizes she is giving away? I don’t know, but I do know that it’s definitely possible for someone to be able to fake giving away lots of great stuff.