Lucky Chips

The Lucky Chips contest was advertised in The San Francisco Call-Bulletin published by Hearst Publications in San Francisco, California, USA from June, 1939. The contest required the newspaper reader to match a unique number on a round disk, with a set of numbers which appear in the newspaper on a daily basis. 50 Lucky Chips holders have the opportunity to win from $20 to $100 each day, a substantial amount of money at the time.

Incorporated in San Francisco, California, USA in 1856, the newspaper was known under a variety of titles throughout its history:

  • The Morning Call
  • The San Francisco Call
  • The San Francisco Call & Post
  • The San Francisco Call-Bulletin
  • The San Francisco News-Call Bulletin
  • News-Call Bulletin

William Randolph Hearst purchased the newspaper in 1918 and merged ‘The San Francisco Call’ with the ‘Evening Post’, giving birth to ‘The San Francisco Call & Post’.

‘The San Francisco Call & Post’ and ‘San Francisco Bulletin’ merged in 1929 to create ‘The San Francisco Call-Bulletin’.

In 1959, ‘The San Francisco Call-Bulletin’ merged with the ‘News-Call Bulletin’ to create ‘The San Francisco News-Call Bulletin’. In 1965, the ‘News-Call Bulletin’ ceased publication after being purchased by the San Francisco Examiner.

The San Francisco Call-Bulletin, dated the 22nd of June 1939 can be seen below, with the Lucky Chips contest advertised at the base of the front page. This notice found on the front page is sporadically repeated several times throughout June and July in 1939, before being replaced from the 1st of August, 1939 with other notices.

Advertisements are found within The San Francisco Call-Bulletin promoting the Lucky Chip contest. The Advertisements feature the images of a number of comic characters licensed to King Features Syndicate, which was/is owned by Hearst Publications. Not only do we see the Phantom featured, but we also see Popeye, Little Orphan Annie, Tippie and Cap Stubbs, Little Miss Muffet, Elza Poppin, Polly and Her Pals, Muggs McGinnis, Room and Board and Brick Bradford. An example of an advertisement for the Lucky Chip contest can be seen below, found in The San Francisco Call-Bulletin, dated the 23rd of June 1939.

Lucky Chips were issued by The San Francisco Call-Bulletin, a one-sided round disk made of thick cardboard. A unique number is printed on the disk, designed to be matched with the number published in The San Francisco Call-Bulletin to possibly win from $20 to $100. A variety of disks were released with a profile image of a comic book character, as seen in the advertisement above. The Phantom was also featured on a disk.

The wording found on the disk reads:
Keep This ‘Lucky Chip’
Cash Prizes See Comic Pages
S.F. Call-Bulletin

Lucky Chips were issue complimentary by ‘newsboys’ or ‘carriers’ when purchasing The San Francisco Call-Bulletin. Once their supply was depleted, The San Francisco Call-Bulletin published a list of retail outlets where Lucky Chips could be collected from:

  • Owl Drug Stores – San Francisco, Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley.
  • Sherry Stores – San Francisco.
  • Walgreen Drug Stores – San Francisco and Oakland.
  • Martel Stores – San Francisco.
  • Al Embee Stores – San Francisco.

Some of the Lucky Chips cash winners were published in the The San Francisco Call-Bulletin newspaper. Below we see an example of a feature showing some of the winners, a profile image is shown, plus their address and amount won.

The San Francisco Call-Bulletin newspaper published on the 12th of July 1939, an article is published featuring one of the winners of the Lucky Chips contest, Claire Cosgrave, a 9 year-old girl who is photographed holding a Lucky Chip. The article is titled, Lucky Chip Prize Starts ‘Nest Egg’ and is found on the outside back page.

Thank you Annie Kazandjian for assisting with images.