Life can be tough, so it’s no surprise that some of us try and make the best of whatever glitches in the matrix we can find. Little loopholes that have allowed the lucky and opportunistic to charm or chance their way into free flights, free food and even free money. These 10 Loopholes That Are Basically Glitches In Everyday Life will surly amaze you.
10. The man who made every day his birthday to get free coffee
The world of coffee-making is a competitive one, which is why chains offer loyalty schemes to try and keep their customers coming back. This was probably the thinking behind Starbucks’ decision to offer patrons a free coffee on their birthday. Which was nice, until one customer took things a little too far. Starbucks barista Brad Halsey revealed on eater.com that one calculating customer purchased 365 loyalty cards and registered every one of them online so he could get a free drink every day of the year.
He orders the exact same each time and the crafty customer is very specific about his order which includes two pumps of white mocha, five pumps of vanilla and heavy cream up to a specific height.
9. A Canadian town created its own currency by ripping normal currency in half
Some people think that creating a regional currency will help the local economy by ensuring people shop locally. This led to the idea behind the “demi”, which is a currency accepted in the Gaspé region of Quebec since at least 2015. Of course, actually creating a new currency from scratch takes a lot of planning. You have to decide who is going to appear on the new notes, who is going to print it and set up laws which define and control the use of the currency.
However, the enterprising people of Gaspé decided to simplify things. They just used their regular currency, the Canadian dollar, and tore it in two, thus creating the demi. The newly ripped notes are worth exactly half of what they previously were. So a torn 20 becomes two 10s. Remarkably, this practice is entirely legal, though the Bank of Canada does think the practice is “inappropriate”.
8. New York cabbie wins an apartment for life
Certain hotels in New York are subject to a little-known Rent Stabilization and New York City Administrative code. This law states that SRO occupants – ones where tenants typically share bathrooms or kitchens – who ask for a six-month lease or more in writing will become permanent residents of the property and only have to pay a paltry $226 per month in rent. Once they pay this figure the landlord can’t evict them.
Mr Ouattara rented a room in the Chelsea Highline Hotel in August 2015 for one night and then requested a six-month lease. The owner registered the hotel as an SRO and so was subject to the relevant law. The landlord was now required to give him a lease for life. The hotel’s owner didn’t take things lying down and locked Ouattara out of the apartment. Ouattara then took things to court and the court ruled in his favour, arguing that the landlord should have known about the law given that cab driver Hamidou Guira had done the exact thing in that very hotel the previous summer.
7. The $100 gambling promotion guaranteed to pay out
Like loyalty schemes in cafes, some gambling sites like to give away free bets to encourage repeat gamblers. Canadian website PlayNow.com is one such site. Their 2010 promotion offered customers a $100 free betting token if you deposited $100 of your own money, before October the 5th of that year. The catch was you actually had to spend that $100 before you got your token. So unless you were a brilliant gambler you were likely to lose about $100 before you got your free voucher. Unless you were playing a game called baccarat that is.
The game works like this: Either your cards add up highest or the dealer’s do. A number of customers noticed that if you placed a $50 dollar bet on yourself and put the other $50 in your account on the banker, you were guaranteed to win your money back. Repeat those steps again and you’re up $100, and now you are also eligible to qualify for the $100 bonus voucher. Once you subtract the $2.50 processing fee, you walk away with $197.50, that is if you stop at this point. If you continue you risk winning or losing according to the normal rules of the game.
6. Bar declares all clientele to be actors so it can circumvent smoking ban
When Minnesota passed an anti-smoking law in October 2007 that banned the use of cigarettes in local public houses they tried their best to get around it, fearing clientele would be put off attending their bars because they would not want to stand outside in the incredibly cold Minnesota climate. Luckily, there was a loophole. If you were an actor in a play and your character was a smoker, then you got to puff away to your heart’s content.
Tank’s Bar declared they were staging a continuous play where every one of the cast just happened to have no lines and only one prop, a cigarette, while Brian Bauman, owner of the bar At the Rock in Maplewood, told the Associated Press that his clientele were in a play “playing themselves before 1 October – you know, before there was a smoking ban”.
5. Junk mail check pays out
Junk mail checks are not only annoying but also an excellent waste of trees that tend to go straight into the bin. Ordinarily that’s what Patrick Combs would have done but on this particular day in May 1995 he decided, on a whim, to attempt to cash the “non-negotiable” check worth $95,093.35. And it paid out. Combs assumed it was a clerical error and left the money untouched for a few days, believing it would promptly disappear.
When it didn’t, he decided to investigate a little further. It turned out the check, issued by Association of Certified Liquidators, was actually legal tender, despite the fact that it said non-negotiable on it. The company had been so concerned with making the check look real they actually succeeded in making it so.
He withdrew the money and put it in a cashier’s check, which was then stored in a safe deposit box within his bank. Once they got angry about him withdrawing the money and tried to scare him, Combs went to the media with his story and wound up writing an award winning show, Man 1 Bank 0, about his whole experience. Eventually, he gave the money back.
4. Murder is completely legal in one part of Yellowstone Park
In the US if you happen to have murdered someone, under the Sixth Amendment, defendants are entitled to a jury composed of people from the federal district where the crime was committed. In most cases this is not a problem, however what if the murder was committed in the Idaho part of the Yellowstone National Park? Well, since the District of Wyoming has control over all of Yellowstone, even the parts of it in Montana and Idaho, a jury would need to be comprised of the people living in the Idaho part of Yellowstone.
The problem, as you might have guessed, no one actually lives there, hence its nickname as the Zone of Death, means a jury could not actually be formed, therefore the defendant could not stand trial and could not be prosecuted. Thus far, no one has exploited this loophole, though professor Brian Kalt has lobbied to have it closed. Almost a decade after he pointed it out nothing has been done.
3. Man gets 1.25 million miles of air miles by buying pudding
One day in May of 1999, while walking around his local supermarket David Phillips noted an offer on a Healthy Choice frozen dinner box. It said anyone who collected 10 barcodes from their boxes would get 500 frequent flyer miles in return. If they were mailed out before May 31 the miles would be doubled. So he bought 12,150 of Healthy Choice products, shopping around in cheaper outlet stores to maximise his profits.
There was only one problem, the May 31 deadline was almost upon him and he still had to remove the thousands of labels and send them off. Philips quickly thought of a solution. He donated the cans to his local Salvation Army in exchange for their volunteers’ help in peeling off the barcodes. After initially claiming they never received the labels, Healthy Choice honoured their deal and Phillips received 1.25 million free air miles at a cost of $25,000 to the company. Philips spent the considerably smaller figure of $3,140 on the cans of pudding and soup.
2. Gun owners can own illegal assault rifles, if they assemble them themselves
Gun owners and libertarians in the US often complain about what they perceive to be restrictive gun laws that prevent them from owning things like AK-47s and large-scale missile launchers. So they found a way around these restrictions: it might be illegal to buy these kind of weapons but it is not illegal to build them. Retailers also don’t have to report when they buy parts kits with everything you need to build a gun.
The thing is complete guns come with serial numbers which can be tracked, gun parts don’t. This loophole has even started its own cottage industry. There is now a computer-connected milling machine people can buy that will help assemble their guns for them.
1. In England you can own perfectly working guns, if they’re antiques
Unlike their gun-loving friends across the Atlantic the UK frowns on gun ownership. In fact, it’s made the ownership of firearms completely illegal, with one exception: if the guns are antiques. The idea was that this exemption would help collectors. And it probably has but it has been used by criminals who have noticed that some of these antiques are still perfectly useable.
In recent years Scotland Yard has reported a number of murders and shootings that have been carried out using old handguns, rifles and submachine guns. Part of the problem is that what constitutes an antique is in the 1968 Firearms Act is vague and its interpretation is often left up to local police officials. There has been a movement to make this loophole disappear but, as of yet, it hasn’t been closed.
Are there any real life loopholes you can think of? Maybe they deserved a spot in this article? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading.