Land the coin, get a free taco
November 10, 2011 11:24 AM   Subscribe

At some older fast-food joints and other smaller businesses, there used to be a contraption filled with water that you could insert a coin into, and hope that it'd land on a small platform. If it did, you'd get something from the business, if it didn't, your coin would go towards some charitable cause (I think). Any more details/ideas on what this was called?

As I recall, I found these in at least one Burger King and several Taco Bell's in the 90's. There would normally be a wheel near the top which you could spin as the coin fell. Sometimes there would be multiple platforms, I think? And normally there'd be some sort of system to allow bubbles to rise through the water, making it harder to land the coin.

My best friend remembers these as well, so I know I'm not just making them up from hazy childhood memories, but I'd love to know what they were called.
posted by Gori Girl to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Aqua Skill Games
posted by Perplexity at 11:28 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've seen a lot of businesses do this with a goldfish bowl and a shotglass -- no licensing required!
posted by vorfeed at 11:47 AM on November 10, 2011

It is apparently called a "counter water coin drop" in some places online.

The Burger King at Irving Park and Ashland in Chicago still has one -- not that I eat there weekly or anything -- but it has the water removed. Which, as you might imagine, would probably make it really, really hard. (I've never tried.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:49 AM on November 10, 2011

I worked at a Burger King in 1996-97 where we had one of these. I never once saw anyone win.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 1:09 PM on November 10, 2011

Several Taco Bells in Long Beach, California still have these. My son wins every time without exception, and in fact can choose the "prize" he wants that day. I have seen this with my own eyes, so these games are not necessarily rigged. (That is, the LBC Taco Bell games are not rigged against the player.)
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 1:20 PM on November 10, 2011

I've won before. I think I won a sundae or something at a Sizzler, but I want to know pH's kid's technique.
posted by cmoj at 1:43 PM on November 10, 2011

Uh, my comment was deleted? That's . . . weird. I have seen these at local Dairy Queens - you might still be able to find one if there's DQ near you. In case you wanted to play one for nostagia's sake!
posted by peep at 1:51 PM on November 10, 2011

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