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Man Tried To Use “Pepsi Points” To Buy $37 Million Fighter Jet

Harrier jet

Many companies allow customers to earn prizes using "points" schemes, including the soft drink giant Pepsi.

However, the company's attempts at a jokey commercial advertising the offer backfired when a man took the company to court.

The commercial, advertising the loyalty program, showed a man flying a Harrier Jet to school.

It claimed the plane, valued at $37.4 million at the time, could be redeemed if anyone could collect seven million Pepsi Points.

One man, John Leonard, thought he had found a loophole in the offer.

He found he could buy Pepsi Points at 10 cents each.


He then delivered a check for $700,008.50 to Pepsi in an attempt to buy the jet.

Pepsi, which briefly had its own navy, said no, claiming it was obvious the advert was not serious.

Leonard then launched a lawsuit against the soft drink giant.

"Evidently done in jest"

Like with many of these cases, it didn't go well for him.

The Judge, Kimba Wood, sided with PepsiCo.

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She found:

  • The commercial did not constitute an offer under the Restatement of Contracts.
  • No reasonable person could have actually believed they could get a $37 million jet for $700,000.

Judge Kimba said the commercial was "evidently done in jest" and said, "The notion of traveling to school in a Harrier Jet is an exaggerated adolescent fantasy."

The case was thrown out.

Pepsi also never cashed the cheque, so there was no case for fraud.

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The commercial stayed on the air, but Pepsi changed the cost of the jet to 700,000,000 Pepsi points.

A clarification saying "just kidding" was also added.

One final point is that the Pentagon even intervened in the case, saying the jet, which was used by the US Military, would not be sold to a civilian without "demilitarization."

In the case of the Harrier, this would mean removing its ability to land and take off vertically.

Image: U.S. Naval Forces Central Command

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