questionsi won a free trip!? wait...what is the catch?

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I know the tags will disappear, but here they are saved forever. (Or until someone deletes them and makes me look foolish.)
TAGS:
winning-with-out-Sheen on-a-horse ranch-tastic I-can't-taste-food-anymore-due-to-the-tar I-hate-cows

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You should ask for the cash value of this prize instead. Bona fide contests are able to provide this. That way you can use it to buy more stuff here on Deals.

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@shrdlu: I tried, but there is an anti-cash out thing in the contract. Only way is if my background check comes clean (which will) and they overbook and have to bump me. Then it is a fraction...etc...legal stuff...people that knew about this read over the contract with me and for me and said it was "legit" and a darn good deal.

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@xarous: It is not possible for me to win something like this, since I have never smoked (nor would I). Still, I would certainly take it. Travel while you can, and see everything you can. I traveled enough while working, and now dislike leaving home intensely, but do not regret the places I've been, and the things I've seen.

Crazy Mountain Ranch? Where is it? Which state? Cows are dumb, but eating them is okay. Do you ride (horses, that is)? Horsemeat is also tasty, but this country is stupid about eating anything that's cute (I also like rabbit). When will this be? There's nothing like a brisk ride in the morning, in early Spring (which it is right now) to make you appreciate life.

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@shrdlu: I have fedex coming in the morning to overnight the paperwork back to the independent judging company handling this. So yes I intend to take it.

Blurb about the ranch:
"The Ranch itself has been around for about 140 years. It spans over 18,000 acres on the foothills of the Crazy Mountains and it basically has two different parts - a working cattle ranch with over 500 head of cattle (black angus and long horns) and a guest ranch. In the mid 1980s, the third family that owned the ranch decided to move a few homestead cabins to a central location, hence the beginning of the town. When Philip Morris bought over the ranch in the mid 1990s, they added in more buildings, rebuilt and refurbished the whole town to make it feel of an old cowboy town, set in the 1890s."

It is an hour outside of Bozeman, Montana.

I've ridden horses for over twenty years or so. I have a decent handle on them. I plan on getting certified there so that I can take part of a real cattle drive.

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It is going to be sometime between June and October of this year. I will get all that information in about four weeks. I can't wait. I haven't had a true vacation...well ever...so this is cake for me.

P.S. I've had horse before and I liked it.

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@xarous: I eat anything that's herbivorous, as long as it's tasty; some things are just not appealing to me. I never eat meat from anything that also eats meat. We're at the top of the food chain. Why add an extra dose of heavy metals into the system?

Bozeman Montana; you'll like it. It's still beautiful, or at least was, the last time I looked. The joke used to be "If summer comes on Sunday, you go fishing." In other words, no matter the time of year, bring warm clothes. June could still have snow on the ground; either that, or plenty of rain.

It's high up, also. If you live at sea level (and smoking aggravates this, which you knew, and yeah, I'm nagging), you're going to feel a bit of a drain on the lungs. Take it easy the first day or so. Interestingly, you'll find that alcohol's effect is also quicker.

Glad to hear you already ride. I almost envy you. Almost.

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@xarous: Dang it! I lost my manners earlier, I guess.

Congratulations on winning something so very cool! I hope you have a stellar time. ;-}

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@shrdlu: Thanks. The good part is my wife and I have no plans on using the free tobacco products they are giving us. We smile, have a good time, take a few pictures, all food and booze free...what more can you ask for?

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The catch? The catch is that those days you will be spending on that Ranch are the days that you could have discovered a lost treasure, the fountain of youth, El Dorado, a vault containing texts from the library at Alexandria, or a winning lottery ticket on the ground.

BTW: Congratulations, that looks amazing!

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I never smoked, but I've won some cool smaller stuff from marlboro over the years. Never made me want to smoke, either, I wish the gubment would stop getting in the way of companies making tobacco and liquor products giving me cool stuff.
CONGRATS on the cool prize, but have you wondered if they'll strap you down and force you to smoke while you're there so that you become addicted? remember, these guys are supposedly EVIL.

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Like @kamikazeken, I don't smoke but I entered that contest. I won a cook book a few years back.

Congrats on the win. Have a great time and make a ton of memories.

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@crabnebula I am always thankful I have you to force reality on me, that way, I never float away in my daydreams of what could have been.

@kamikazeken I bet they have their cowboy lasso me up and tie me to the tracks if I don't take a puff and re-open the door to my addiction.

@klutzyruth I didn't win the netbook or the cowboy boots they just gave away, so I chalk this up as a win. Apparently the Stetson they give you is worth about 200 dollars, the oilskin coat is worth 200-300 dollars, and the really nice boots are worth 200-400 dollars. No telling what else I will get while I am there.

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I won a trip to New York City and it was a bona fide trip, had a great time. Realize thought you will receive a 1099 next year for the retail amount of the trip and it will be treated as untaxed income.

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@dipuppo: Yeah. I all ready checked to see what the estimated taxes were on the trip based of my anticipated tax bracket for 2012. They also send you a check to help cover the cost of the taxes.

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@xarous: Congrats on the win. It's a real place that represents the Old West like in the movies. Saloon, country store, etc.You'll ride horses and stuff. When you get there they will be a big trunk with a hat and cowboy clothes that you will wear around. I don't smoke but it seemed pretty cool.

Source: A rep from Altria(Owners of Malboro) came to my Marketing class last year and told us all about it.

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I would definitely go. As a fellow dirty smoker, I advise any and all travel and life living before we get smacked down by cancer/heart disease.

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Ewwww people still smoke?