Washington Law Review




Safeway Stores, Inc. conducted a promotional advertising game, bonus bingo, to attract customers to their grocery stores in Snohomish County. To win at bonus bingo, participants had to obtain a booklet of game cards from any Safeway outlet, visit Safeway Stores to pick up prize slip numbers for particular game cards, and present the winning card to a Safeway Store manager to collect the prize. The local Prosecuting Attorney, convinced that Safeway's promotion was an illegal lottery, sued for declaratory judgment on the legality of bonus bingo, and for an injunction to halt such advertising practices. Two lottery elements, a distribution of money or property and chance, were readily apparent in this promotion; the legal question before the court was whether there was adequate consideration flowing from the participants to the promoter. The Washington Supreme Court held that consideration was present; therefore, bonus bingo was a lottery, a public nuisance, and subject to injunctive action. State ex rel. Schillberg v. Safeway Stores, Inc., 75 Wash. Dec. 2d 351, 450 P.2d 949 (1969).

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