Americana: Gift Horses

Lady Luck is always a welcome guest, but in Maine she has been a little promiscuous. Sampson Supermarkets, a 31-store chain, last summer contracted for a promotion scheme: "Let's Go to the Races." Each Sampson shopper is given a playing card printed with the number of a race horse on whom the customer has automatically "bet." Every week, films of past thoroughbred races are shown on television, and Sampson customers holding numbers of a victorious horse win $1,000. The game is really a lottery: its sponsors know that of the 250,000 cards doled out weekly only two bear the number of...

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