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Booby-prize and Booby-maker in Japanese tournaments

This entry was posted by on Friday, 27 January, 2006 at

After competing in the annual SCCJ (Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Japan) bowling competition yesterday, the organizers gave a so-called “Booby Prize” to the team which finished last. This sparked a discussion among us, because some people claimed that the Booby Prize should be given to the person/team second from last and not last.

I did some research and found that the Booby Prize in the Western world indeed is a prize given to the player/team who finished last in a competition whereas in Japan, the Booby Prize is given to the one who finished second from last and the last place will receive a more dubious honor called Booby Maker (i.e. the one who, by finishing last, made the one before him/her win the Booby Prize). The reasoning for this is that anyone can finish last – it requires no effort at all, and whereas the Booby Prize is usually just a joke prize in the Western world, here in Japan it is usually a very nice prize – sometimes it is only surpassed by the 1st prize in value! Thus, to make it hard to receive the Booby Prize, the definition changed to be the one who finished second from last.

Hope that cleared things up for anyone! (I know it did for me!)


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