June 13, 2014 / 8:29 PM / 5 years ago

Ripley’s asks Strange Mail contestants to think outside the box

ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) - Got something weird? Slap a postage stamp on it and enter the Strange Mail Contest which started Friday for the most unusual item sent to Ripley’s Believe It or Not headquarters in Florida.

No box, envelope or wrappings of any kind are allowed under the contest rules. The stamp and address must be affixed directly to the item.

The winner of the first Strange Mail Contest in 2013 mailed a McDonald’s Happy Meal laid out on a plastic plate, according to Ripley’s.

The meal – a hamburger, fries and apple pie - was secured by glue, and the postage and address were on the bottom of the plate, said Edward Meyer, vice president for exhibits and archives.

The meal, a year later, is now on display at its museum in Atlantic City, with no signs of deterioration.

“Kinda scary when you think about that. It’s whatever preservatives McDonald’s puts in their food,” Meyer said.

Other entries in 2013, which came from as far away as Russia, included a bowling ball, a rotting zucchini, a pumpkin and a toilet seat, he said.

Meyer said founder Robert Ripley, who died in 1949, received more mail in his lifetime than anyone else including the president of the United States and Santa Claus, a fact he said was confirmed by the postal service.

Back then, the postal service decreed it would no longer deliver unpackaged items to him, but is on board with today’s contest, Meyer said.

The contest runs 12 weeks and items must arrive by Sept. 5. Entries should be addressed to Meyer at: Ripley Entertainment Inc., 7576 Kingspointe Parkway Suite 188, Orlando, FL 32819.

Editing by David Adams and Jim Loney

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