RFF#40 – In 1955, the “prize” inside the Quaker Oats cereal box was a deed for one square inch of land in the Yukon

At the time, Quaker Oats had a radio show called “Mountie in the Yukon”, and after struggling to find a way to promote Quaker Oats, they came up with the perfect idea…every box of Quaker oats would contain a deed for a piece of land where the fictional show took place.

The original deed that appeared in 1955 cereal boxes

Apparently, it was one of the most successful sales promotions in North American business history, all of the boxes (containing deeds) were sold within weeks.

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Unfortunately, the deeds were never formally registered, and as a result, no one ever actually owned the land. In 1965, the company that was established to handle the land affairs went out of business, and the Canadian government repossessed all of the land.

Apparently thousands of supposed “land owners” still write to officials in the Yukon, inquiring about their property.

I learned about this fact from: http://www.yukoninfo.com/klondikebiginch.htm

Photo credit: http://www.yukoninfo.com/klondikebiginch.htm

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RFF#39 – In 1902, the “prize” inside the Quaker Oats cereal box was a deed to a small piece of land

Apparently they were very small lots (some as small as 100 square feet) in Milford, Connecticut. Very few people claimed their prize, which required you to mail the box top to New York , where the deed was then forwarded to Milford to be registered. As a result, in the 1970s developers foreclosed the land to make way for a factory.

Gee, this makes the sparkly crayon I once got in a cereal box seem pretty dingy. Nevertheless, this wasn’t the only time Quaker Oats gave land away…more on that in tomorrow’s post.

I learned about this fact from: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Oatmeal-lots-gave-officials-indigestion-687006.php