A Fan Theory About the 1971 Classic, ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’, Paints the Movie in a Completely Different Light

Adapted from a book, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, was released in 1971. With Gene Wilder portraying Wonka, the film followed a reclusive candy maker’s attempt to find a successor for his business through a worldwide contest. The ensuing commotion led people from around the globe to buy up massive supplies of chocolate. That wasn’t the point of the contest, though. Charlie Bucket, a poor local boy, became the unlikely recipient of the final golden ticket. One fan theory suggests that Charlie might not have found his ticket by chance, though.

A fan theory suggests Charlie’s golden ticket was too coincidental

The worldwide pandemonium over the golden tickets had rich people buying up as many candy bars as they could in an attempt to win a chance to tour Willy Wonka’s factory. So, what are the odds that a poor local like Charlie would have found the ticket by purchasing a couple of candy bars with found money? Astronomical, claims one fan.

Promotional poster for 'Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory'
‘Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory’ | GAB Archive/Redferns

RELATED: The 6 Best Movies Based on Roald Dahl Books

Clement Pit-Claudel, an MIT student, outlined just how many candy bars Veruca Salt’s father would have needed to buy in order to have a reasonable chance at finding a golden ticket. According to Pit-Claudel, Mr. Salt would have needed to purchase 12.9 million chocolate bars to have a 70% chance of finding a golden ticket. If the Salt family purchased that many candy bars to reach a 70% chance of taking home the prize, Charlie’s likelihood of finding a ticket by purchasing one candy bar is pretty much nil.

One fan theory suggests Charlie was purposefully sold the winning bar of chocolate

Charlie’s likelihood of finding a bar by chance was incredibly low. There might be a simple explanation, though. Charlie was handpicked to win the prize, according to one Reddit fan theory and there is plenty of evidence to back up the theory.

A Wonka bar created for the 30th Anniversary of 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory'
A Wonka Bar wrapper | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Charlie’s family was incredibly poor, and they certainly didn’t have extra money to purchase a ton of candy. After the final ticket was reportedly found in Paraguay, the commotion around the chocolate bars died down. Charlie, walking home from school, found cash in a gutter and eagerly ran into a candy shop to purchase a bar. The candy shop owner, Bill, handed over one bar of chocolate that Charlie eagerly gobbled up. He decided to buy a second bar for his Grandpa Joe. As the Redditor noted, Bill appeared to hand-select a specific bar for Charlie from behind the counter. That bar turned out to be the winning bar.

The fan theory suggests that Bill was employed by Willy Wonka to find a deserving local to win the prize. Wonka admitted to employing Arthur Slugworth to weed out greedy recipients, so is it so far-fetched that he would have hired Bill to handpick a winner? Not really.

Charlie won the top prize because he came about his winning ticket honestly

It also makes sense that Charlie would be the one to win the candy factory. After all, he was the only winner who came about his prize honestly. The rest of the recipients were all spoiled, and all purchased an abundance of chocolate to win their prize. That wasn’t the case with Charlie. In fact, he found his ticket when the contest was officially believed to be over.

Grandpa Joe, Willy Wonka and Charlie Bucket in 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory'
Grandpa Joe, Willy Wonka and Charlie Bucket in ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ | Paramount/Getty Images

RELATED: Tim Burton’s 6 Worst Movies of All Time

If Wonka wanted to find someone to carry on his legacy, he would have wanted someone who loved candy the way he did. He certainly wouldn’t have wanted someone who was obsessed with winning. Charlie was that person. Bill could have been instructed to hold onto the final winning ticket until the hype about the contest had died down. By doing so, Wonka could ensure at least one of the recipients came across the prize organically.