Chuck E. Cheese has accumulated over seven billion prize tickets during the coronavirus pandemic and is now asking a bankruptcy court for permission to have them shredded. The tickets were ordered before the company filed for bankruptcy in June.
Individually, the tickets are practically worthless - just $0.0013 apiece - but all together, they can be traded in for around $9 million worth of merchandise.
The company said they have enough tickets to fill 65 40-foot cargo shipping containers. They told the court it will cost them $2.28 million to have three vendors shred the tickets. Lawyers wrote that the cost of shredding them is "far lower than the cost to the [company] should these Prize Tickets be circulated to the general public and presented ... for redemption."
A virtual hearing is scheduled for next week, and a judge will decide if Chuck E. Cheese can destroy the tickets.
Collecting armfuls of paper prize tickets to trade for prizes, like tiny erasers or action figures, may soon be a thing of the past. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Chuck. E. Cheese began switching paper tickets with e-tickets, which were "cleaner," "greener," and faster."
The court filing said that the pandemic forced them to expedite their plans to phase out the physical tickets and switch to "contactless" ones.
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