Food & Drink

Researchers reveal how to score free pizza

If you missed your shot to score free Dominos on Josh Beckett, fear not. The lab rats at Stanford have put together a real, published study on what gets people free pizza. Now, keep in mind this is a hyper-specific case study on the Reddit mainstay Random Acts of Pizza, where people submit pleas for free pizza to the Reddit community... and sometimes score. But it tells us about how to successfully grovel for pies in general, so listen up:

  • Be grateful. The team looked at 19 different "politeness features" and found that only gratitude -- not "pleeeease Mom" -- had a big impact.
  • Back up your story. People were more likely to donate pizza if there was evidence backing up the person's tale. So if you're telling people you need free pizza because your car is busted and you need to pay for repairs, show them a photo of your bashed-up Fiero.
  • Offer to return the favor. Statistically speaking, Redditors tend to give to peeps who sound like they're gonna pay back the pizza karma.
  • Ramble. This is one case where long-winded stories are a good idea. Longer posts meant more pizza, so go ahead and ignore your word count.
  • Don't just say you're hungry. Make a real case for yourself: the study found that people who hinged their pleas on a pizza-craving got shut down.

Now that you're wise to how the system works, go forth and offer your pitch to the board.

Kristin Hunt is a food/drink staff writer for Thrillist and is always on the hunt for free pizza. Follow her at @kristin_hunt.