Cheating/Dishonesty in family scavenger hunt


Forgive me if I am being scrupulous but I have a couple nagging questions that I was hoping someone could help answer…

Some of my extended family members arranged a scavenger hunt-type game, mostly to have fun, but also with the possibility of winning a money prize. The money was collected from all the adults before the hunt started and gathered together as one big prize for whichever team gained the most points.

Long story short a couple of my team members took the initiative to cheat and I know I did wrong because as much as I disliked what was going on, I ultimately went along with it (I didn’t speak out against it, refuse to participate, etc.).

Example: One way to win points was to answer (correctly) a series of questions pertaining to our grandmother. The questions regarded things like her favorite singer, favorite movie, favorite color, etc. We arrived at a non-participating family member’s house to get a picture of a particular vehicle that was on the hunt list. The cheating occurred when a couple of my team members enlisted the help of the non-participating family members to answer the aforementioned questions. I basically said nothing for fear of causing drama. :frowning:

My two questions are:

What do you think I should have done when this situation was happening?

What do you think I should do now, if anything, to rectify the situation?

The facilitator of this game made it clear that cheating was grounds for disqualification. I don’t want to seem like a “tattle tale” but I don’t want to further participate in something immoral assuming what happened truly was immoral (at least to some degree).

Thank you for your time.


Did your team win? If so, is there a real possibility of the cheating being exposed later? Will bringing up the cheating now cause a big problem? I don’t like the idea of keeping family secrets, but if you didn’t win and nobody’s feelings were hurt I wouldn’t worry about it. I don’t know your family so I don’t know how the others would react. I know some people can’t let things like this go. I have a family member who’s a sore loser to the point of screaming and occasional violence over things like Monopoly. About 30 years ago another family member cheated in order to intentionally lose to this person in order to avoid a scene. While the sore loser has inexplicably always been given a pass for their behavior, the person who cheated has never been able to shake their reputation as a cheater, which has led to some ridiculous and hurtful situations over the years. I’d say base your decision on how you feel your family will react to it. That may not be the most honest way to handle it depending on your situation, but if it’s going to cause a lot of strife, is it worth exposing the cheating?


I guess it depends. When it comes to family games, my wife’s extended family has turned cheating into an art form. For them, cheating is a way to make the game more fun–it’s practically part of the rules, in that respect. Irritates me, but that’s just the way it is. I still love 'em.


Was asking other family members for help with the grandma questions against the rules? I know in my family, asking non-participating family members would have been considered fair game. Same things with my school staff when our teams drove all over the Denver area on a scavenger hunt (team building before the school year began).

For us, cheating would have been going to a Wal-mart and buying the things on the list, rather than getting them from checkpoints or whatever.

So are you sure that what you did was cheating? What were the specified rules?


It sounds like cheating to me. They had special knowledge that the other teams weren’t privy to.


Unless it was explicitly clear that this would be considered cheating, I don’t see why it is cheating. :shrug:

How else are you to find out the answers to such questions? Were you specifically instructed to guess? If not, presumably you need to scavenge for these answers, which your team members did. That sort of things has been part of any scavenger hunt I’ve been on, and it’s up to the initiative of the teams to somehow find answers to these sorts of questions.


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