Steve Jobs wanted to recreate the Willy Wonka golden ticket contest to celebrate the millionth iMac sold

26 April, 2012 - Paul Dixon
Steve Jobs & iMac

Ken Segall, the advertising executive credited with putting the “i” in Apple’s most popular products, has today released his new book about the Cupertino company. Insanely Simple contains a number of previously untold stories about Apple, one of which details how Steve Jobs wanted to celebrate the millionth iMac sold with a Willy Wonka-style contest.

From Segall’s book:

Steve’s idea was to do a Willy Wonka with it. Just as Wonka did in the movie, Steve wanted to put a golden certificate representing the millionth iMac inside the box of one iMac, and publicize that fact. Whoever opened the lucky iMac box would be refunded the purchase price and be flown to Cupertino, where he or she (and, presumably, the accompanying family) would be taken on a tour of the Apple campus.

Steve had already instructed his internal creative group to design a prototype golden certificate, which he shared with us. But the killer was that Steve wanted to go all out on this. He wanted to meet the lucky winner in full Willy Wonka garb. Yes, complete with top hat and tails.

Apparently, the idea was cancelled when it was discovered that California law requires such contests to allow entries to be made without purchases. Thanks to that rule there would have been a very good chance that the eventual winner didn’t own an iMac, or wasn’t an Apple fan.

Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success is available to download from the iBookstore for £8.99 ($12.99).

[Via MacRumors]

About the author

Paul Dixon is the owner of Macsessed. He lives in Lancashire in the UK where he works as a web designer. You can find him on and Twitter.