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Cobaugh v. Klick-Lewis, Inc.

Citation. 385 Pa.Super 587 (Superior Court of Pennsylvania, 1989)
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Brief Fact Summary.

Amos Cobaugh (Plaintiff) was playing gulf in a tournament when he saw a sign posted by Klick-Lewis (Defendant) advertising a 1988 Chevrolet Beretta GT at $49 over factory invoice for getting a hole-in-one.  Cobaugh got the hole-in-one, but Klick-Lewis refused to deliver the car.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

.  An offer is a manifestation of willingness to enter into a bargain, so made as to justify another person in understanding that his assent to that bargain is invited and will conclude it.

The promoter of a prize-winning contest, by making public the conditions and rules of the contest, makes an offer, and if before the offer is withdrawn another person acts upon it, the promoter is bound to perform his promise.  


Klick-Lewis refused to deliver the car, although Cobaugh got the hole-in-one, claiming it had offered the car as a prize in a charity tournament, but neglected to remove the sign.  Cobaugh sued to compel delivery of the car, and the trial court granted summary judgment in his favor.  Klick-Lewis appealed.  


Was the posting by Klick-Lewis an enforceable offer?


Yes.  Affirmed.

·         The offer specified the performance which was the price or consideration to be given.  A person reading the sign would reasonably understand that he or she could accept the offer and win the car by shooting a hole-in-one.  Thus, the offer was accepted when the Appellee shot the hole-in-one. 

·         The contract did not fail for lack of consideration, which requires a bargained for exchange.  Klick-Lewis benefited from the publicity generated by its promotional advertising, and Cobaugh was required to perform an act which he was under no legal duty to perform.  


Justice Popovich felt there were elements of gambling present in connection with the possibility of getting a hole-in-one, rendering the contract unenforceable as violating the Commonwealth’s policy against gambling.  




Contest promotions are treated as enforceable offers that cannot be withdrawn, once accepted.  Cobaugh shot the hole-in-one, and Klick-Lewis had to give him the car.

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