Best Cracker Jack Prize Ever. 70 Years Later.

Cracker Jack

I love Cracker Jacks. A lot. When I was a little girl they used to have prize- really exciting prizes like rings, and puzzles, and compasses, or better yet, compass rings. To a little kid, the Cracker Jack was the ultimate snack- sugary peanuts and popcorn and a prize. Ultimate. And though I do still love Cracker Jacks, the excitement of eating them has faded as the prizes have become more and more of the temporary tattoo variety and less of the compass variety.

I thought all the Cracker Jack prize joy was over. A sad part of growing-up. How wrong I was.

Today, I ate lunch with my Grammy and Popsie. Usually, we eat lunch with a lovely, feisty, sassy, intelligent, and above all chic woman named *M. I can’t get enough of her company. I want to be just like her when I’m her age. It’s like eating lunch with a hybrid of Carol Burnett and Audrey Hepburn. Today at lunch I noticed M. was wearing a gold ring I had never seen before. I really liked it a lot and told her so. She took it off and gave it to me. Seriously.

I was shocked. Of course I couldn’t accept such a generous gift, but as soon as she put it into my hand, I realized it wasn’t gold at all. She smiled at me and said, “Keep it. I got it out of a Cracker Jack box in the 40’s. ” WHAT? First of all, that ring was in unbelievable condition for being 70 years old. And second of all, what? I mean, actual dollar value of the ring aside, that was still an incredibly generous gift. She much have kept it all those years for a reason.

I never found out the reason- and actually I like the mystery of it. But, at M’s insistence, I did accept the ring. In one spontaneous moment- all of the Cracker Jack prize joy I knew as a kid flooded back to me. And not just that- in one single moment all of the negativity and frustration I had been feeling evaporated. Who knew a Cracker Jack ring could be so powerful?

Eat some Cracker Jacks today. Sure, the prize might not be anything better than a temporary tattoo (although, that could be pretty sweet) but try to remember what it felt like when you were a kid and opened up a delicious snack and got not only that, but a prize as well. Think about how it made you feel. And if you aren’t a Cracker Jack eater – maybe just try to remember what small thing brought you great joy as a child and try to hold on to it throughout the day.


Sometimes I don’t believe in magic. But then I get a 70 year old Cracker Jack ring.


*M. isn’t her real name.  I didn’t want to violate her privacy. I hear people don’t like that.

11 thoughts on “Best Cracker Jack Prize Ever. 70 Years Later.

  1. Major score!
    Yeah … I remember the good ole says with those Cracker Jack boxes. I remember being into baseball cards and getting them in those boxes.
    You need to take a pic of the ring! That’s like finding buried treasure except you found it on a woman’s hand. And she gave it to you without a fight.
    That might be a plus!

    • I want to know but I am also loving the stories I have created in my imagination so I’m not sure if I want to know the truth.

  2. awe, that was a really sweet story!! Plus the ring is likely pretty valuable in price too. I know that there was a ring with the imprint of an actress from that time period that sold for a crazy amount of money. Hubby works for Frito Lay (owns cracker jacks now) and they have stories in the news letter about the prizes and how much cash the fetch now.

    Still, the ring was likely pretty important to her to have kept and worn it. Maybe it was from her first movie, or ball game! maybe it was given from a sibling? Who knows!! I bet you will cherish that ring :)

  3. payin’ it forward. what an outstanding gesture. I, too, still love CJ and remember the days when the prizes were kewl.

  4. This is a fantastic story! Where’s the photo of the ring?? I wanna see it!

    Cracker Jacks are great. In my childhood it was a special treat to get them. My sister and I loved them! I didn’t care for the peanuts and would always put them back in the shiny silver bag (lol).

    Something else fun from then was Bazooka Joe. The sugar flavor would run out of the gum within a few minutes, but you got the gum for the comics (or cartoons).

    It’s great when childhood memories and joy come to life again. : )

    • I was think the same thing about Bazooka Joe. The cartoons were on the lame side…even tho Bazooka Joe wore an eyepatch…a kewl guy for the times. The fun part was reading the “fortunes” underneath the comic..while shocking the body with an intense suger rush, topped only the the Giant SweetTart…or half a dozen ring dings the size of small pancakes….

Leave a Reply to xmichra Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Gravatar Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s