A New Drinking Game Is Sweeping Britain: Sending Pints to Strangers Across the Nation

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A new drinking game is sweeping the British nation—it involves losing money and no drinking.

If that sounds farfetched, it’s because the game consists of ordering pints and other drinks to people you’ll never meet out of the goodness of your heart—like Italy’s caffe sospesa, but with alcohol and in English.

Called “Wetherspoons: The Game” the activity has attracted international media attention, and the story goes like this. One day, Chris Illman from Portsmouth was out drowning his sorrows after a bad breakup and a cancer diagnosis at the local JD Wetherspoons, the largest UK pub chain which has over 800 locations.

Illman discovered a sort of loophole in the Wetherspoons app where one can select their location manually rather than activating their phone’s automatic location services. This would allow them to enter a table number and order drinks anywhere in the nation. After the discovery, Illman created a closed Facebook group for him and his buddies to buy each other drinks this way.

Then one day, the group became open, and in a few days there were 500,000 members.

The way that the Wetherspoons Game works is that people post a photograph of themselves, their ID card, and their location and table number along with an explanation of why someone should buy them a drink.

A group of dedicated volunteer moderators then check the ID, and approve only the polite and good-natured posts to the wall, where anyone can check the feed and decide to send them a drink.

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