Steve Jobs’ millionth iMac plan: Willy Wonka-style golden ticket

MacRumors’ Eric Slivka recounts a passage from Ken Segall’s new book, Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success:

Steve’s idea was to do a Willy Wonka with it. Just as Wonka did in the movie, Steve wanted to put a golden certificate representing the millionth iMac inside the box of one iMac, and publicize that fact. Whoever opened the lucky iMac box would be refunded the purchase price and be flown to Cupertino, where he or she (and, presumably, the accompanying family) would be taken on a tour of the Apple campus.

Steve had already instructed his internal creative group to design a prototype golden certificate, which he shared with us. But the killer was that Steve wanted to go all out on this. He wanted to meet the lucky winner in full Willy Wonka garb. Yes, complete with top hat and tails.

Steve Jobs WIllie Wonka ©2010 MacDailyNews
Slivka reports, “Fortunately for those looking for a way out of it, California law required that all such sweepstake contests allow entry without requiring a purchase” and the idea never came to fruition.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Steve Jobs may have actually worn at least the WIllie Wonka hat (which is why we already have the Steve Jobs as Willie Wonka image ready-to-go). See related article below.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

Related article:
Steve Jobs in secret New York meeting with top New York Times execs – February 4, 2010


      1. A lot of states do this to prevent illegal gambling / lotteries – not to be confused with the STATE SANCTIONED gambling / lotteries.

        Might make sense when people are paying a buck a ticket with the lure of winning millions, but when the entry price is $1,000 +, I don’t think you have to worry about the poor buying on impulse.

      2. This would have been considered a nationwide sweepstakes. As such, one of the legal requirements would be that no purchase is necessary to enter the sweepstakes.

        Contests (giveaways that have some element of skill to them), as opposed to chosen-by-chance sweepstakes, may require a purchase to enter.

  1. THAT would have been way cool! Though I’d rather not have Steve dressed in costume. He had his own original jeans and black turtleneck costume—pure Steve not an imitation.

      1. Also, If you read through the actual contests Apple has run, there have always been ways to enter without having to buy OR download anything. I recall for a couple recent contests when Apple provided a web page where entered by simply providing contact information.

    1. Ballmer. Clone him, but modify the genetic code so that the blowhard is only 3.5 feet tall, but keep his head and appendages at normal size. Well except that middle part. That should be shrunk to Micro-softy size. lol

  2. Thank California liberals for killing this wonderfully fun idea! Can’t even give stuff away anymore without an agenda! Can’t even have an all-girl field hockey team cuz some boy’s father is suing to play after he was removed for being dominant. Liberals won’t be happy until men and women have all the same parts! Sick!

    1. The rules for national sweepstakes are: no purchase is required. The exception would be government lotteries which require ticket purchases, and are thus categorized as games of chance (gambling).

      Contests involving some element of skill have no such requirement of non-purchase.

      Nothing of gender neutralization, nor liberals, is mentioned in any of these requirements.

  3. Fortunately for those looking for a way out of it…

    Every maniacal genius (aka highly intelligent Bipolar Disorder sufferer) requires the balance of outside perspective.

    I recall from a recently published interview with Steve Jobs that he praised his relationship with Ed Catmull and John Lasseter at Pixar. He found that when he had an idea that was, let us say, ‘impractical’ that they other two would help temper his judgement. This relationship with his staff was apparently also the case after his return to Apple.

    As usual: Diversity rulz. In this case, the perspective of others helped Steve Jobs to make better decisions. There is no such a thing as a ‘solo genius’.

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