In The Great Salami Caper Zeldman shares a story from a long time ago when he entered a competition creating an ad campaign for Hebrew National Kosher Salami. An idea very similar to his did win, so at the time he was sure he had gotten ripped off. The client had chosen the safe option.
Hebrew National held a contest to see if people outside Madison Avenue could come up with a great ad idea for their 83% fat free salami. The grand prize was $83,000.
That's some prize bounty there. Quite different from the 200 bucks offered for full fledged corporate identities on crowdsourcing sites these days. Read to the end where the gem of truth lies in the last line.