WTC’s Luck Runs Out

Gambling: the act of wagering something of value in an effort to win something of greater value through a game of chance.

Sure sounds like the Kona Lottery doesn’t it? In full disclosure, my brother won the Kona Lottery in 2012 and had a great time. I am not going to attack WTC or try to attack people for having a dream. What I am going to say is this is just another in a long line of examples where the balance of value was tilted against the athlete/consumer in dealing with WTC.

You know you have brand loyalty achieved when people openly admit they are “throwing their money away” and not doing it with a grimace or a threat of bodily harm.

From a gaming standpoint, $50 is the perfect amount. It is small enough that people who want the dream won’t think twice about dropping it down but yet it is big enough that a few thousand people entering this sham becomes “real money”. I admit I have never entered the lottery and have no intent to as the odds are so long they are almost not even worth discussing.

The Courts have now instructed they must forfeit those funds collected. WTC says they will comply and those who won the lottery this year will have their slots honored (gee, how nice of them). The biggest question becomes what next.

I think the best idea I have heard is this one. 1. The lottery is now free to enter. 2. You must have an Ironman finish in the books for the year you enter and you must have it before you enter the lottery as you will be asked to list your verification race and time. 3. You must include a credit card so that the minute your name pops up, you are in and your card is charged. If your card is rejected for whatever reason, you will have one chance to fix it or else the lottery pick is rewarded to someone else.

In the end, this is just another crack in the wall. Races canceling, pro purses being eliminated, pedestrian finisher medals and now the legal finding that the Kona Lottery is a no-go. This does not bode well for the world leader in ultra distance triathlon.

I wish Mr. Messick and the good people at WTC much luck here. Their credibility and image has taken a big hit and it is going to take an even bigger effort to rehab that wounded image.

I sincerely hope they can do it.


Posted in Triathlon News

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