Recently, I got the chance to interview Jason Wong, the first champion code breaker of the Topps Allen & Ginter “Crack the Code” contest! I am really jealous of him as I did attempt to crack it but failed.
Craig in Texas: How were you notified that you were the first to crack the code?
Jason Wong: I was notified by phone. When I submitted my answer I also added my phone number. The contest ended on October 22 and a Topps brand manager for Allen & Ginter called me on October 24, two days after the contest ended.
Craig: How was the selection made for your picture that is on the card?
Jason: All I had to do was submit a picture, any picture I wanted. I asked if it was OK to wear an Orioles jersey and Topps said yes as long as it was a current jersey. It must not have been a current jersey because if you notice the picture does not have the Orioles on my card. BUT if you see a cloth card (limited to 10) it has the Orioles on my jersey.
Craig: Did you get to choose what information was printed on the back of the card?
Jason: Yes, just like the picture, I could write anything I wanted. I was limited to what I could say and could only use up to 300 characters.
Craig: Have you gone to a card shop or card show and bought one of your cards without telling the card dealer who you are? If so, have any of them recognized you or asked you if you were Jason Wong?
Jason: I have gone to one card show and that was last weekend. No one knew who I was and I really didn’t expect anyone to recognize me. I was trying to finish my set and needed less then 20 cards. I saw two people have singles for sale. The first guy had all but two cards I needed and one of me. He didn’t even look at my card. I didn’t say anything so I just paid for the cards I needed and went on my way. I saw the second guy and I was down to two cards I needed. He had one and then I asked if he had any #338’s, he had two, he looked at the front and looked at me and looked at the card again and asked if I was him. I said yes but I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. We talked for about 15 minutes. I signed one for him and left.
Craig: I have read that you are autographing some of your cards for collectors as well as doing something special for charity. Explain this process.
Jason: Yes, I saw collectors who do TTM for there collection and collectors trying to get whole sets autographed. I figured no one knows who I am and no one would be able to locate me unless I created something like a website or blog. I always wanted to do something for charity. We raise money at work for different charties so thought I would take advantage of my card to raise money for charities I wanted. I wasn’t going to take advantage of my card for my own benifit so I wanted to do something for charity. Don’t get me wrong the ones at my work are great but none go to animals or other charities I liked. In October I will be signing 10 cards all hand numbered to 10 in pink sharpie for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. These are the only 10 I will sign in pink sharpie.
Craig: What is the address that we collectors can send you cards to have autographed or to give you?
PO Box 51
Annapolis, MD 21404