If football season is your favorite season, you may have heard about Bud Light’s new “Strike Gold” promotion.
It looks pretty straightforward at first glance, like a boozy, adult version of Willy Wonka’s famed golden ticket.
If you find and photograph a golden can of Bud Light, you could win a pair of free Super Bowl tickets every year for life (so long as you don’t live for more than another 51 years).
But just like the famous children’s tale, the prize isn’t guaranteed, even if you buy up every last case of Bud Light you can find in hot pursuit of the elusive bullion Bud.
That’s right; you have to do more than just find a gold can.
And to be honest, that makes sense: With 37,000 of them randomly seeded into 18-, 24- and 30-packs of Bud Light, that would be a lot of free Super Bowl tickets to fulfill… even for a company with pockets as deep as Anheuser-Busch’s must be.
But luckily, we read the fine print and figured out how you can enter without buying even a single can of beer.
Here are all the details.
How to Enter Bud Light’s Contest Without Buying a Single Can of Beer
If you’re anything like me, you might consider paying cash to avoid drinking Bud Light.
Fortunately for snobs and teetotalers, this contest is free to enter… and the no-purchase-necessary entry method looks way more fun.
During the sweepstakes period — that is, from 12 a.m. CST on Nov. 28 to 11:59:59 p.m. CST on Jan. 13, 2017 — simply print this fake golden wrapper (seriously!) and wrap it around your favorite non-alcoholic beverage.
It could be a can of soda or even just a plain old glass of high-quality H2O. Heck, I might wrap one around a wine glass and call it a day. The rules don’t say it has to look authentic!
Snap a quick selfie with your pseudo-suds and upload it to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #SBTix4Life and #Sweeps.
Note: You’ll also need to follow Bud Light on whichever channel you share the post on, and if you choose Facebook, you’ll need to add it as a reply to Bud Light’s most recent Sweepstakes post. (There will be six, corresponding with the six mostly week-long entry periods detailed in the rules.)
If you’re a California resident, it’s even easier: Your photo need not even feature the golden can but should simply showcase your “team fandom.” However, you must also include the hashtag #CA along with the two mentioned above.
Winners will be selected by random drawing, so you don’t even have to get overly creative with your photography.
Of course, if you are a Bud drinker, you could always just follow the same steps with an actual golden can you find in the wild.
Or, you know, borrow a friend’s… as long as you work out in advance how to split up the prize if you win.
Win Super Bowl Tickets for Life
So now for the really fun part: What can you win?
During each of the six entry periods, Anheuser-Busch will award one winner a pair of tickets to each of their favorite team’s home games for the whole 2017 regular season.
Not too shabby — but it’s nothing compared to the grand prize.
One grand-prize winner, who will be notified the week of Jan. 16, 2017, will receive two tickets to each Super Bowl game for the rest of their life (or up to 51 years), beginning with Super Bowl LI in 2017.
That winner will also receive $1,000 every year, for up to the same 51 years, delivered in the form of a prepaid debit card, check or wire transfer.
So, a guaranteed $51K payout and lifelong trips to the Super Bowl. Pretty sweet, right?
But wait: There’s more. A LOT more.
This Prize Might Be Worth Up to $153,000
If you keep reading the fine print, you’ll find the following important clauses:
“For the 2019 Super Bowl: Winner may choose to take a cash option in the amount of $30,000.00 in lieu of the remaining “Super Bowl Tickets for Life” prize.”
So if you took that option, you’d go to two Super Bowls for free and get $32,000 cash in total — not a bad lump sum, though not as nice as the $51,000 you’d have if you waited for the annual payouts and tickets.
We continued to read on, and it got even better:
“At any time during the fifty-one (51) year period, Sponsor may elect to provide a cash payment to the winner in the amount of $3,000.00 for each remaining year of the “Super Bowl Tickets for Life” prize.”
OK, granted, this one’s not in the winner’s control — the Sponsor would have to “elect” to pay out cash instead of giving away the tickets.
But if the tickets fell through immediately and Anheuser-Busch coughed up $3,000 per year starting in 2017, that would add up to $153,000.
I’ll admit I’m not much for football, myself. But I’d wager even the most rabid fan would have to seriously consider watching the game at home on the couch for a cash prize that serious.
So whether or not you want to down a Bud Light, why not go ahead and print the golden label and toss in an entry or twelve? (You can submit one entry per day.)
It’s free, after all — and the payout might be anything but light.
Your Turn: What beverage will you wrap your golden label around?
Jamie Cattanach is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Her writing has also been featured at The Write Life, Word Riot, Nashville Review and elsewhere. Find @JamieCattanach on Twitter to wave hello.