The Ovaltine

"Secret Decoder Ring"

mail-away premium

This "Secret Decoder Ring" was a mail-away premium from Ovaltine. It was first offered on cans of Ovaltine beginning in May of 2000. The first offer lasted until August 31, 2000. For two proofs of purchase (UPC bar-codes) from any flavor of Ovaltine and $2.50, you could receive your decoder ring and a chance to win $500 by successfully decoding a secret message.

The offer was then extended. It ran through August 2001, although the requirement of TWO proofs of purchase was reduced to only one UPC bar-code. There were three drawings for $500, on 1/31/01, 6/30/01 and 12/31/01.

The ring is an "antiqued copper" color, made completely of metal. The center wheel turns to allow matching different numbers with the letters. No instructions come with the decoder; the enclosed letter just says, "You may need to try to match up more than one letter and number before you can decode the message."

They claimed "allow 8 weeks for delivery." Mine arrived in seven weeks.

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