Think you’re smart enough to outwit a chicken?
Drew Cerza is going to try. So will Lance Diamond and Ruben Brown.
They’re going to be the first to play a new game at Hamburg Gaming: Chick Tac Toe.
Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is. Tick-tack-toe against a chicken.
And after the charity kickoff Monday, patrons can win a share of nearly $200,000 in prizes by playing the game throughout March.
“I’ve always been the type of guy to study the night before the test,” Cerza said. “I’m going to cram Sunday night for all the tick-tack-toe strategy I can find.”
“Chick Tac Toe” will be featured at the center of the Hamburg Gaming floor from noon to 10 p.m. daily Monday through March 29.
The game pits human against chicken – and her chicken computer. The chicken is situated in the “Think Box,” while the human steps up to another box attached to a computer screen with the game. The chicken pecks at the control to make her move, and the patron picks where his X or O will go. A tie game goes to the chicken.
“It’s hard to beat the chicken,” said Laura Galligan, spokeswoman for Hamburg Gaming.
“I’m going to bring my fry basket, just for the intimidation factor, maybe throw him off his game,” said Cerza, the founder of the National Buffalo Wing Festival.
Patrons who have at least five points at the other games can play against the chicken once a day and win $250 in free play if they beat the bird. Those who do not beat the chicken will receive a “scratch-off” prize of $5 to $100 in free play; an “I Took a Lickin’ from a Chicken at Hamburg Gaming” T-shirt; or 50 to 100 bonus entries into the $10,000 Chicken Scratch Drawings that will be held every Saturday in March at 10 p.m. for a top $5,000 cash prize and five $1,000 cash prizes, Galligan said.
To launch the promotion Monday, Hamburg Gaming is donating $10,000 to local charitable organizations in the “Celebrity Charity Chicken Challenge” at 11:30 a.m.
Cerza, the “Wing King,” will play for Meals on Wheels for Western New York. Brown, former Buffalo Bills Pro Bowl offensive tackle, will be playing to benefit the Eden High School Chopper Class via the Ruben Brown Foundation. Singer and entertainer Diamond will play for the Buffalo Animal Shelter. The Hamburg Gaming Show Girl will play for the Erie County Agricultural Society Scholarship fund.
They will receive a share of $10,000, including a minimum of $2,000.
“It’s a lot of fun. It turns out to be for a great cause,” Cerza said.
But he’s ready to get serious.
“These chickens are professionals. This is what they do. They’re trained,” he said.
They also are well taken care of, Galligan said. Each chicken plays for one and a half hours, then returns to a climate-controlled room.
“They will not end up as dinner,” she assured, although she said Hamburg Gaming will have a lot of chicken specials for the month.
The promotion will run from noon to 10 p.m. daily.