orphaned
  •  orphaned
  • 50.02% (Neutral)
  • Ride Supervisor Topic Starter
Monday, August 22, 2005 11:26:34 AM
This was in the Louisville, KY paper this week:

Link:

http://www.courier-journ...0050820/NEWS01/508200481 

Fun – not fix – in at Midway
Investigators keep it honest for prize-seekers


Five-year-old James Baker of Franklin, Ky., was calm and assured when he sat down yesterday to see how fast he could squirt water into the mouth of a clown and win a prize.

Moments later, he took possession of a Batman doll -- after getting a little help with his aim from his 16-year-old cousin, Amy Samuels.

"I knew I was gonna win. She helped me," he said after throwing his hands up in victory while his father, Scott; mother, Vickie; and three siblings cheered.

"They love this booth because it's something they would do at home," Vickie Baker joked about the kids.

James was among a wave of winners and losers who will play one of the Midway games at the Kentucky State Fair this year. Harold Workman, president of the state fair board, said that about half of the estimated 637,000 visitors to last year's 11-day event found their way to the amusement games.

Fair spokeswoman Amanda Storment said the games, which are contracted through Cumberland Valley Shows, are as much a part of the yearly end-of-summer experience as the livestock exhibits and food competitions.

"People have always gone to the fair to have fun, and there's just something about being able to take something home and say, 'I won this at the fair,' as well as the trophies and blue ribbons," she said.

But while James left happy, plenty end up like Fisherville resident Ron Wilkerson.

Fueled by distant memories of success and frustrated by $20 worth of effort, Wilkerson stubbornly continued to try his hand yesterday at setting a long-neck bottle upright using a fishing pole, a line and a ring.

The things a guy will do for a large stuffed Scooby-Doo dressed like a firefighter.

"I almost had it! I bet I've spent enough to buy that thing," he joked to a crowd of spectators as booth operator Andy Wells accomplished the task in a matter of seconds. "He just does it and makes it look so easy. It's annoying!"

Wells, who described himself as a 25-year veteran of the game circuit, looked on calmly. "I tell people all the time, if you relax and concentrate, you'll do better at this and everything else in life."

But it's not really that easy, said Brian Richardson, a carnival game enthusiast and author.

Richardson, a Houston resident, has self-published a 96-page book featuring tips on how to best some of the most popular carnival games: "The Secrets of Amusement park Games ... Revealed!" He has sold 11,000 copies since it was first released in 1999. (Amazon, $3.95)


"Saying that all you have to do is relax and concentrate with that game is like saying all you have to do to hit a 94-mile-an-hour fastball is swing," he said in a phone interview after hearing Wells' philosophy. "It's kind of difficult."

Richardson should know. He actually bought an example of that game on e-Bay so he could master it at home.

Richardson, a middle school technology teacher, said he's learned one thing over the years that may be the worst news for a chronic loser of such games:

"They aren't rigged. State regulations are a lot stricter now than in the past to ensure that everyone is getting a fair shake."

The fair board, which contracts for the games and rides each year, makes sure the booths stay on the up-and-up by keeping close tabs on them.

Two plainclothes auditors patrol the Midway during the fair, making sure that they're being operated in accordance with the rules the board issues to Cumberland Valley Shows each year.

Jerry Frantz, the board's director of administrative services, said there's been very little trouble with the games or rides since 1984, when the board first hired Cumberland.

One incident that does stick out in his mind, however, occurred last year, when he said an operator enticed some young players into running a tab, playing additional games in the hopes of winning a prize.

"Next thing we know, the mother called and said the kids had spent more than they should have," he said. Their money was returned.

Workman said all complaints, large or small, are taken seriously.

"We investigate anything we hear about," he said.


TIPS FOR WINNING

Brian Richardson, author of "The Secrets of Amusement Park Games … Revealed!" offers these tips for winning some types of popular Midway games:

BB-gun target games: Do not shoot at the middle. Shoot around the center and let the piece fall out by itself. You only have a set amount of BBs. There are not enough to just "obliterate" the center.
Milk can softball toss: Toss the ball with backspin, as if you were a pitcher playing slow-pitch softball. Also aim for the front lip of the milk can. The backspin, combined with the front lip, will make the softball hang around the lip long enough to trickle back into the hole and be a winner.
Basketball shot: Shoot underhanded.
Overall: If you're not having success, walk away. "Remember your mortgage? Car note? Groceries?" he said. "I'm serious, it's not that important to lose rent money over. Having a good time with your date or family is important."

MIDWAY RULES

The Kentucky State Fair Board enforces these rules to make sure you really have a chance of winning that huge bear for your honey or an AC/DC mirror:


All games must follow state law and are subject to board approval.

The rules must be easy to see, read and understand, with a clear explanation of what must be done to win. No verbal rules can be added.

The operator should be able to prove to you that the game can be won in accordance with the posted rules.

Only displayed and posted prizes can be given.

No potentially dangerous items, money or beverages can be awarded as prizes.

Samples of any prize that can be won must be displayed in a way that relates to the way the game is played.

No more than $2 can be charged per game.

Fair board officials can inspect the construction or mechanics of any game suspected of being fixed.

No auctions.

Game operators can't require addition or multiplication; make you accumulate points or complete several steps to win (except for Skee Ball and duck pond games).

The fair board will issue only one violation per offense; repeated offenses could result in shutting down the game.





Missin it
Monday, August 22, 2005 11:41:26 AM
I like the part about the kid's running a "TAB"[;)]
"Everytime you open your mouth you make it harder and harder to take you seriously"
V. Boombotz

If you can't defend your self don't make stupid comments (please)
with-it
  •  with-it
  • 59.3% (Neutral)
  • Operations Foreman
Monday, August 22, 2005 11:56:54 AM
"Pay for those and get your prize".....lol

Yet no mention of the games at Kentucky Kingdom.....

MikeH
  •  MikeH
  • 50.24% (Neutral)
  • Maintenance Supervisor
Monday, August 22, 2005 3:15:44 PM
"The operator should be able to prove to you that the game can be won in accordance with the posted rules."

"Should"? Pretty gray area there.

"Two plainclothes auditors patrol the Midway during the fair"

Always easy to spot,off duty cops with shorts,t shirts black socks and a fanny pack.Usually asks if anyone ever wins and/or show me that you can do it.



with-it
  •  with-it
  • 59.3% (Neutral)
  • Operations Foreman
Monday, August 22, 2005 3:48:08 PM
Quote:

quote:


Originally posted by mikehawkenballs

"The operator should be able to prove to you that the game can be won in accordance with the posted rules."

"Should"? Pretty gray area there.

"Two plainclothes auditors patrol the Midway during the fair"

Always easy to spot,off duty cops with shorts,t shirts black socks and a fanny pack.Usually asks if anyone ever wins and/or show me that you can do it.





I tell them there's a winner everytime and usually it's me.....lol
Missin it
Monday, August 22, 2005 3:57:34 PM
I seen them hassle a duck pond in Jersey (Vinny remembers it to) Gotta love Jersey[;)]
"Everytime you open your mouth you make it harder and harder to take you seriously"
V. Boombotz

If you can't defend your self don't make stupid comments (please)