Starbucks’ last pre-COVID-19 promotion was Starland. It launched before the pandemic temporarily closed stores and dramatically changed the way people interacted with the brand. For those who stuck with the contest and earned free entries every day, it was a free star bonanza. Since the contest had a set number of prizes to award, fewer entries meant a higher chance of winning.
Here we are, months into a global pandemic and Starbucks has just introduced the first post-pandemic promotion simply called “Starbucks Summer Game.” While this one does allow you to earn entries without even going to a Starbucks, the contest format is frustrating.
In short, they let you play Plinko.
Maybe you call it Pachinko but the contest focuses around releasing a ball and trying to get it to land in an instant win bucket. If your ball falls to the bottom of the playing field, you get a contest entry.
There are various bumpers, barriers and spinners that will throw your ball around the playing field. I’ve found if your ball ends up on the side of the screen, you’re done. Nothing good happens there.
As you play the game more, you’re able to unlock more of the buckets, increasing your chance of winning an instant prize (but not much). I had 12 entries upon starting and the best I did was earn 10 stars and a bunch of contest entries. Once you get enough contest entries, you start to receive double entries just for being a prolific loser.
I tried to figure out the rules of this contest but eventually gave up. It does seem that the number of prizes is directly related to the number of entries. Apparently, Starbucks learned their lesson from the Starland promo.
Despite the fact that you’ll probably lose all with your free plays, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try with your two free entries every day.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary