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In about 1975, I invited patients seen during any routine consultation, from an urban general practice in Bristol UK, to enter a weight loss sweepstake, for the winner to take all the stake money.
The entry fee was 50p and most months the pay out was about £5. Multiply by about 7 for today’s equivalent. Each patient was weighed on the same scales at an appointment, at the same time for that patient, each four weeks. The stake was shared at the end of each four week cycle. The stake and the potential prize money, and the chance of winning felt about right.
Some months the winner had lost a whole stone (6.3kg), and unfairly the runner up who got nothing could have lost say 12lbs (5.5kg). Some months the winner had lost only 2 or 3 lbs (1 or 2kg). A few losers had lost no weight at all.
After at least a year, a couple of winners who had put the weight back on came back for more and won again.
As a pilot I felt it had failed and so I didn’t pursue it as a formal trial.
Could the idea be modified to be more successful?