Thorpe Park’s Prize Scam

By Michael Mander

A BBC programme shown earlier in the week revealed that stallholders were ‘tricking’ customers at Thorpe Park to control the number of winners.

Wax is said to have been used to to make knocking over blocks more difficult, as well as stallholders swapping the balls for a different one to the one used in demonstrations. It has been suggested by the BBC programme: Your Money Their Tricks, that stallholders would be required to make a certain amount of money before giving away a prize.

The revelation comes from undercover filming carried out by the BBC, where a senior manager of HB Leisure LTD, who provide the stalls for Thorpe Park and many other Merlin parks, was filmed saying that employees increased the difficulty level for some customers.

IMPOSSIBLE TO WIN: Are Thorpe Park manipulating games to make them more difficult to win?

A Thorpe Park spokeswoman told the BBC: “We would never condone any activity on the park which was proven to mislead or in any way disadvantage our guests.”

The spokeswoman assured viewers of the BBC1 documentary that the Surrey theme park was carrying out its own extensive investigation into the claims.

“This investigation is ongoing but if we find any evidence of malpractice we will take swift and appropriate action against both any individuals concerned and the supplier company.”

The managing director of HB Leisure, Alex Sparks was unhappy with the way the company was portrayed in the programme

“We utterly refute any suggestions that any of our games are not fair and we had provided detailed information, explanations and evidence to the programme, in advance, to prove this.”

“The BBC decided to ignore much of this information and has therefore presented a biased and incorrect view of the games.”

“It is totally untrue to say that games are manipulated to make people lose.”

“The programme itself states that there are times when we make the games easier but presents this as a bad thing, which we – and we believe, our customers – can only see as a benefit.”

“We found that in almost all instances the programme had fundamentally misunderstood how the games worked and so we were able to explain and answer their queries in great detail,”

“The rare instances where staff behaviour or games fell below standard were immediately checked and remedied.”

Mr Sparks added that 100,000 prizes had been handed out at Thorpe Park – of which this reporter has won none.

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About: Michael Mander

I mainly cover Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Adventure Island, Paramount London and other attractions in the south of England. Contact me at: Michael@Airgates.co.uk

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