Tortilla charlatans Taco Bell typically wage their refried flimflammery on wrapping burritos inside of other kinds of burritos, then insisting this makes it a new burrito. But now it’s playing a much longer con: a “lifetime” of free Taco Bell food, offered to the 11 winners who find one of 11 dollar bills marked with special serial numbers, currently being released one at a time across 11 American cities. Match them to the interactive map to claim your prize of a life spent eating all that Taco Bell has to offer, throughout an exciting future that promises as-yet-undreamt-of permutations of meat, beans, and cheese.
But before you go walking slowly, so as not to inflame your acid reflux, to your nearest Taco Bell, consider that the chaos-bringing trickster gods who wrought the Quesarito have also folded some wily fine print into their latest ruse. First of all, your odds of finding one of these dollar bills, based on the total number in circulation, are 1 in 2.4 billion. Should you find one, there’s also no way of claiming your prize in person. Instead, you must mail Taco Bell the dollar bill, scattering it to the winds and whims of the U.S. Post Office, with all loss or delay solely your responsibility. “Proof of mailing claim does not constitute proof of delivery,” the rules cackle. Life is unpredictable; tacos can so easily go loco.
Provided you do find one of these Doritos-golden dollar bill, and it’s not shanghaied by a Mr. Slugworth hiding deep within the postal system, there’s also the small matter of that asterisk next to “lifetime.” In an unflinchingly honest appraisal, Taco Bell caps a “lifetime” of eating its food at just 46 years. And in that time, you’ll be awarded only $10,000 in gift cards—and this doled out at just $216 per year. While obviously the most humane solution, giving contestants just over $4 to spend on Taco Bell per week is hardly the “lifetime” of eating Taco Bell you might have imagined. It is as though Taco Bell has promised you a delicious, fulfilling prize, only to totally cheap out on what’s inside.
So in the end, the only sure path toward a lifetime of Taco Bell remains as it always has been: Attending a proper finishing school, so that one day you may flatter and beguile your way into marrying a wealthy taco baron who will see that your taco needs are looked after forever.