A total of 43 kids played for big bucks – 23 came home empty handed – 22 more chose the safest choice and 10 stayed with candy.
In 2019, I added a lottery element, the additional option of redeeming six candy to play for a $ 20 jackpot, but every envelope except the winner and a $ 10 second prize, was empty.
Thirteen children went to the lottery and a boy named Liam won the jackpot. He will never forget Halloween when he won $ 20.
About 40 children distributed equally over the other options; Ironically, kids who wanted a guaranteed win but a smaller potential jackpot ended up winning more than kids who played for something bigger, as about half of those players didn’t win anything.
COVID-19 changed things in 2020, with options being a 3-piece candy gift bag, a $ 1 gift card to the neighborhood ice cream shop, a pool of envelopes containing between a quarter and five dollars and lottery option.
We had a smaller crowd due to virus issues, but the kids who stopped were split almost evenly between the money options.
The envelopes always include an explanation of the choices and the probabilities; I ask the children not to watch until they get home and to discuss the results with the parents, asking them what mom or dad could have done.
There are lessons about risk and reward, about choices and the value of money.