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The Truth Behind the $123,000 Turkey: Did Target Really Sell It?

Did Target Really Sell a $123,000 Turkey?

The Target Effect: The Power of Retail Layout

Target, the popular retail store, has a reputation for enticing shoppers to spend more than they intended. The “Target Effect,” as coined by Business Insider, refers to the phenomenon where customers find themselves making unplanned purchases because of the store’s clever layout. However, as Thanksgiving approached, an intriguing photo began circulating of a frozen turkey with a staggering price tag of $123,199.88 at Target. Let’s get to the bottom of this eye-catching image.

The $123,000 Turkey: A closer look

According to Snopes, the photo in question first surfaced in 2015. The turkey, which weighed 12.32 pounds, was labeled with a staggering price tag of $9,999.99 per pound. Naturally, one would question whether this exorbitant price was a real deal or just a joke. PolitiFact, a fact-checking organization, investigated the matter to determine the truth.

Unraveling the Truth: PolitiFact’s Investigation

PolitiFact traced the origins of the viral photo and discovered that it was originally posted on Reddit. The person who shared the image explained that the turkey’s price tag lacked a barcode, leading to speculation about its authenticity. The truth, however, is that Target did not sell a turkey for $123,000. The exorbitant price was the result of a simple human error that only occurred at one specific Target store located on the Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis.

The Rising Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner

While the $123,000 turkey turned out to be a mistake, it’s important to acknowledge the rising price of Thanksgiving dinner overall. According to USA Today, the cost of Thanksgiving dinners in 2021 is estimated to be 14% higher than the previous year. The Farm Bureau conducted a survey that revealed the average cost of a Thanksgiving spread to feed 10 people will be around $53.31, an increase of $6.41 from 2020’s average of $46.90.

The Price of the Star: Turkey

Now let’s focus on the star of the Thanksgiving feast: the turkey. Fortunately, the price of a turkey is nowhere near $123,000. A 16-pound bird, which is commonly chosen for Thanksgiving, typically costs around $23.99. Despite rising food costs, including a 5.4% increase in grocery store prices reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Thanksgiving turkey remains an affordable centerpiece for most households.

Bottom line

In conclusion, the viral photo of a $123,000 turkey at Target was the result of human error and does not reflect the actual price of the bird. While the cost of Thanksgiving dinner has increased, the price of a turkey remains relatively affordable. As you plan your Thanksgiving celebration, rest assured that you won’t have to take out a second mortgage or break the bank to enjoy a delicious turkey with your loved ones. Target’s “turkey incident” is a reminder to check prices, but it should not stop you from enjoying the holiday festivities.


How much was the turkey at Target?

The turkey in question had a price tag of $123,199.88, weighed 12.32 pounds, and cost $9,999.99 per pound.

Did anyone actually buy the $123,000 turkey?

No, the $123,000 turkey was never actually sold. It was the result of human error and only occurred at a specific Target store in Minneapolis.

How did the photo of the high-priced turkey go viral?

The photo first appeared on Reddit and gained attention because of the surprising price tag on the turkey.

Did PolitiFact check the authenticity of the $123,000 turkey?

Yes, PolitiFact conducted an investigation and confirmed that Target did not sell a $123,000 turkey. The high price was an error at a single Target store.

Is the cost of Thanksgiving dinner rising?

Yes, the cost of Thanksgiving dinner is on the rise. According to the Farm Bureau survey, the average cost of a Thanksgiving spread in 2021 is estimated to be 14% higher than the previous year.

How much does a typical Thanksgiving turkey cost?

The cost of a typical Thanksgiving turkey, such as a 16-pound bird, is about $23.99. Despite rising food prices, turkeys remain relatively affordable for most households.

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