It’s just like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – if instead of golden tickets, Willy Wonka had distributed special dollar coins, and instead of winning a tour of a magical chocolate factory, the children got to meet hyenas, and instead of a whimsical yet mysterious sprite masterminding the whole thing, it was Royal Australian Mint chief executive Ross McDiarmid.
So, it’s a little bit like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The Mint has announced Australian Dollar Discovery, a competition that McDiarmid says is aimed at encouraging children to collect coins. Why do we want children to collect coins? Shh, don’t spoil our fun.
Here’s the deal: 3 million specially marked dollar coins have been released into circulation. Each one bears the letter A, U or S, and is date stamped 2019 in recognition of the fact that next year is the 35th anniversary of the one dollar coin. Register online and collect one coin of each letter, and you will go into the draw to win a trip to Canberra and a stay at the Jamala Wildlife Lodge, famed for the dangerous animals that wander about right outside your window.
Eight diligent change-checkers – one from each state and territory – will win the Canberra trip, as well as a VIP tour of the mint, which is…also something, I suppose. In addition, 250 people will win $1500 Royal Australian Mint vouchers, and 5000 will win Australian Dollar Discovery piggy banks in which to keep the coins that did not win them the main prize.
Admittedly, there’s no lifetime supply of chocolate on offer, but there’s also very little risk that the Royal Australian Mint will turn you into a giant blueberry, so looks like checking your change for those special marks is a sound idea.
The competition closes on April 8, and the winners will be drawn on May 14, 2019.