The Chuck E. Cheese Secret (or how to win the big stuff)

January 04, 2017 | David A. Dein

Family Life

Last Friday, I took my kids over to Chuck E. Cheese to take part in a school fundraiser.  They’re seven and very competitive.  Each one wants more tickets from playing arcade games than the other.  It’s like the Olympics of skeeball, and a big part of the reason we go.

Before walking in we talked about the game plan. How in a few hours they could walk away with a big prize, instead of walking out with another crummy Spider Ring.  Here were the tips I gave them to maximize their Chuck E. Cheese Ticket Haul, and I thought you could use them too.

  1. Unlike most Arcades you get four tickets from every game no matter what.  Whether you score a million points in skeeball or gutter them all you get 4 tickets.  There is no skill required.  So do the math, if that Play Dough Kitchen is 5000 tickets, 5000/4 = 1250, that means you can walk into Chuck’s buy 312 token’s and walk out with the prize.   The problem is that the going rate even with discounts is about 20 dollars for 100 tokens (it’s more without the coupon that’s available at their website.) So to win that prize you’ll spend over 60 bucks, way more than the playset is worth.
  2. The ticket blaster may be an option.  Designed for birthday parties, the ticket blaster is usually a designated perk for a birthday boy or girl to win extra tickets.  Basically they put you in a tube and then fill the tube with air, and then dump a bunch of tickets in, which you then have to grab while they’re flying through the air.  This is a great way for older kids to win big.  But it’s not always accessible to non-party patrons. But ask the manager and for a fee he might let your kids do it.


  1. Dance with Chuck E. Cheese.  For the more budget conscience parent the only other in store option is probably the most fun for younger kids.  Just dance! Once an hour Chuck E. Cheese comes out does a little dance and then throws a bunch of tickets in the air which your kids can collect.  On slow days this is your best shot at getting piles of tickets.  The more kids though the fewer tickets they can collect. But on a non-holiday weekday, if you’re tenacious you can dance with Chuck three or four times and pick up a few dozen tickets at a time
  2. Check the website, if you go to Chuck’s official site you can play online games that actually give out in store ticket vouchers, some as high as 50 tickets.  So imagine walking into the store with a few hundred tickets already received.

My kids didn’t listen to my tips. They walked out with spider rings and Tootsie Rolls.  But I got this amazing picture and it was worth the entire exhausting day.  Use the tips, or just ignore them. Either way if your kid’s bellies are full of pizza and there are smiles on their faces you’ve been a pretty good parent. BOOM!

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