Illinois Lottery recently surveyed more than 1,000 Illinois
residents to learn about their holiday gift giving habits
and asked them what was the worst holiday gift they had
ever received. Surprisingly, the most reviled holiday
gift was not a physical gift of any kind, it was the act
of not giving a gift at all.
In the online survey, the Lottery asked respondents to
enter the best and worst holiday gifts they had ever received
and answer a number of multiple choice questions about
bad gift givers and re-gifting. Many of the responses
were quite shocking, but according to survey participants,
the people of Illinois hated not receiving any gifts at
all the most.
of the Worst Holiday Gifts
Not receiving a gift
2. Fruitcake with worms in it
3. Divorce papers
4. Pack of used cigarettes
5. Raw cow's heart
6. Used address book
7. Sack of potatoes
8. Box of cereal
9. Lava lamp radio
10. Garage sale clothes
11. Toilet plunger
12. Gallon of anti-freeze
Lottery's survey was inspired by the character "Larry"
who is prominently featured in its holiday ad campaign.
Larry is a notoriously bad holiday gift giver, but in
the commercials, he is able to reform his ways after discovering
the gift he hopes everyone will return for millions, Illinois
Lottery instant tickets.
have really been connecting with this character, so we
thought it would be fun to find out how many people across
the state had received a bad gift from someone like him
and what that bad gift was," said Lottery Superintendent
Carolyn Adams. "It as amazing to see how bad some
of the bad gift responses were, but I guess when you think
about it, I can see how people would be more upset about
not receiving a gift than if they received a bad one.
No one likes to feel left out or forgotten; especially
around the holidays."
survey respondents were also very emphatic in their listing
of the best holiday gifts they had ever received. Jewelry
was the overwhelming winner in this category, placing
first in the rankings. Money, cash and gift certificates
ranked second; followed closely by electronic items at
third. Getting to see, or spending time with family, friends
and loved ones ranked fourth. Also included in this category
was the excitement of getting married or engaged over
10 Best Holiday Gifts
2. Money, Cash, Gift Certificates
3. Electronic Items
4. Family/Friends, love of those close to you
5. Clothes and accessories
7. Lottery Tickets
9. Gifts from children and grandchildren
10. Tickets: sporting events, theater and arts
are some other interesting findings from the survey:
typically gives the worst holiday gifts?
29.0% Co-workers -- 16.2% Other
-- 20.5% In-Laws -- 9.8% Significant Other
-- 17.6% Friends -- 7.0% Parents
the 16.2 percent who responded other, kids ranked the
highest. And for women who pride themselves on being better
gift givers than their husbands or brothers, watch out,
sisters and aunts received a greater portion of criticism
than their male counterparts with 2.4 percent of the total
was your reaction when you received a bad holiday gift?
38.0% Confused -- 16.1% Embarrassed
-- 34.2% Other -- 14.3% Angry
one-third of the respondents who wrote in their reaction
under the other entry preferred to act pleased no matter
how much they hated the gift. One respondent said they
"could have won an Oscar" upon receiving a horrible
gift. However, not all respondents were so gracious; one
vowed retribution. And surprisingly, only one person claims
to have been honest about receiving a bad gift and told
the person immediately.
often do you return holiday gifts?
49.6% Sometimes -- 6.2% All the Time
-- 44.2% Never
you ever given a bad holiday gift?
63.1% No -- 36.9% Yes
you ever re-gifted a bad holiday gift?
66.8% No -- 33.2% Yes
you ever been caught returning a holiday gift you didn't
93.0% No -- 7.0% Yes