Zach W. notes an oddity with carnival games (link).
Mom could buy a stuffed animal for a fraction of the price of the minimum number of carnival tickets you'd need to win the thing. And that's the best case scenario. Many (most?) carnival games are flat-out rigged.
But people still buy their tickets. Why? Wouldn't it be more efficient to just buy the crappy t-shirt with plain old cash?
Or is there more to the transaction? What else is the carny offering? The chance for a loved one to signal prowess? The chance for a kid to have some fun overcoming a contrived challenge? Fun?
Judging by dollars and cents, there's no way a carnival game could be euvoluntary. Thank goodness that's not how people actually reckon the value of their time and attention.