McCain Great Village Raffle

Have you seen the new McCain promotion on frozen chips and potato products yet? The Great Village Raffle promises a tractorload of prizes worth £3million – cars, holidays and lots more.

But don’t get too excited! All is not as it seems…

I always read T&Cs carefully when I spot a new promotion – because I like to let my readers know if they have a good chance of winning (for example, the fantastic current Walkers and KitKat promotions are pretty much guaranteed prizes). And of course, I like to let you know when the chance of winning a prize is very slim – which is the case here.

You should always be suspicious if you spot the phrase ‘…available to be wonrather thanwill be won‘ – it usually means a promotion where less than 5% of the prizes will be won (last year’s Walkers Spell & Go is a good example, with just 4% of the holidays given away).

Here’s an extract from the McCain T&Cs at – with that dreaded phrase!

Prizes have been fairly and randomly linked to an independently verified algorithm. Although all prizes will be available to be won, there is no guarantee that all prizes will be won.

The prizes

Look at all these goodies – £3 million worth!

  • 10 x Mini Countryman Cooper’s
  • 500 x Indulgent Country Spa retreats
  • 2 x Emmerdale acting masterclasses
  • 3 pairs x Emmerdale Set Tour & Dinner at The Woolpack
  • 5,000 x Gastro Pub Meals
  • 2,500 x Luxury Country B&B Stays
  • 2,500 x Family Diggerland Adventure Vouchers
  • 8,000 x Pampering Beauty Treatments
  • 10,000 x opportunities to Adopt a Piglet

How to Enter

The Great Village Raffle is open to UK & ROI residents (NI residents can email for a free code, see T&Cs for details):

  • Buy a promotional packet of McCain frozen chips, potatoes or jackets, and find your unique code
  • Enter your code and email address at to find out instantly if you’ve won – you can use each code once.
  • If you’re a winner, keep hold of your receipt & packaging – T&Cs state you may be asked for it!

Here’s where to find the code…

What are the chances of winning?

In the Great Village Raffle, the advertised 28,515 prizes will only all be won if EVERY SINGLE CODE on every promotional pack of McCains is entered on the website. And this promotion is running for an entire year, ending on 31st January 2018.

So what on earth is this ‘algorithm’ mentioned in the T&Cs? In simple terms, it’s usually the number of flashed promotional packs that are produced, divided by the number of advertised prizes. The resulting figure is your chance of winning when you enter a code.

For example, imagine how many promotional McCains packs will be produced before it ends – let’s hazard a guess at 100 million (it’s probably many, many more!). So every time you enter, your chance of winning is 100 million divided by 28,515 – so, about 1 in 3,500. Not great odds, and most of the prizes are low value too.

I would guess a maximum of 1,000 prizes will be won in this promotion – but it may be far less! Some codes are printed faintly on the inside of frozen chip bags (see my photo below!). It’s a messy job to retrieve it – and will people really be bothered?

So, in summary, this promotion isn’t as generous as it looks. Next time, I’d love to see McCain guarantee the prizes would be won – £30,000 of prizes given away in a ‘winning moments’ promotion (where the next person to enter after a random ‘winning moment’ wins the prize) or even a prize draw (like the current Activia promotion). would be much better than just a few of the £3million prizes awarded by algorithm!

What are your thoughts on this type of ‘instant win’ promotion? Will you enter? Have you heard of any winners?

Enjoyed this post? Read my post about misleading instant win promotions.

19 Responses

  1. Tony Innamorati says:

    Agree with all the comments this is a CON of the worst type. Sadly its legal. The only guarantee is that you will not win a prize.McCann publicity stinks! McCann should be made to make a donation to a charity as an apology for this Con. Make comments on McCann facebook page or

  2. geoffrey dean says:

    Tried in the region of 40 codes nothing so far

  3. Mel Daniels says:

    Really interestingly post! I entered two codes today and neither were winners… I’ll still enter any further codes I get “just in case” but only because I’d be buying the product anyway so I may as well. I’d be interested to hear if anyone wins 🙂

  4. Ruth Pickford says:

    Thank you DI for all the info..the damn code is really hard to find..seems certain they dont want people to win x

  5. William D T Davis says:

    This is the second bag of McCain’s with supposedly codes within; none what so ever! This is a mass fraud. I would appreciate a response from McCain.

  6. philc_31 says:

    The Mini Cooper on the Box is a lovely cheerful and exciting red but the actual car you get is Grey and can’t be changed – The NEW Mini Countryman Cooper will be Moonwalk Gray with solid exterior including mirror caps, with 16” revolite spoke wheels and black cloth interior. The Winners will not be able to change the Mini Countryman Cooper colour, style or specification. I think Mc Cains should put a boring grey car on their boxes and packets instead of the fun, cheerful, exciting red one.

    • Phil, this is a great comment and I agree! BOOOOO to grey cars!

    • geoffrey dean says:

      NO one will win a car regardless of colour, these scams have been going on for years to sell a products. Newspapers comps , readers digest with pictures of fake winners and cheques are just as guilty got proof but a long story.They give away small prizes here and there but not valuable prizes,its so easy for them to get away with it .They should be had for fraud

  7. Donna Kelly says:

    I’ve bought a number of bags and not a single code in it!! Fix!?!?

  8. Jordan Jarmain says:

    Have you heard of any winners yet Di? We get these for my little girl so I’ve had a couple of codes but no luck. With such small odds of winning I’m not really going out of my way to buy more than usual x

    • I’ve not heard of a single winner! At least with the new Onken promotion, I’ve heard of 5 from 50,000 – but surely we should have had one piglet adoption reported by now!

      • Jordan Jarmain says:

        That’s crazy. McCain should be ashamed of running such a bad event. They’ve made it as hard as possible, trying to decipher the codes inside the plastic bags is ridiculous. Makes you cross eyed lol

  9. Lisette Davidson says:

    I have so far had a bag saying code is here – and I am STILL trying to find it……completely blank! I have to say these are our family’s chips of choice and I go through at least two big bags of them a week (not being a chip fan myself, my family more than makes up for me!) and have had at least three entries, and I am going to persist but truly, I appreciate the efforts you go to, Di, to give us a wee heads up explaining these things – most useful!

  10. Andy Westwood says:

    Not won yet may have had my chips

  11. Jay Hill says:

    I won’t be buying them especially but will get some when I’m out of chips. I really want an adopted piggy!

  12. Chris says:

    Thanks for the details of this. The odds are crap. They should be required to print the chances of winning on the T&C’s or even the pack. Shameful propaganda from McCains.

  13. Davina Mellon says:

    Won’t be entering, unless they’re free on checkoutsmart!! Booooo to McCain!

  14. Marsha Richardson says:

    Rubbish! I won’t be playing 🙁

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