Alarm bells rang.
We had a look at the website and clicked on the links we'd been given which would show us the engraved item ready made for us to collect. Unfortunately connection speeds (even in an academic setting) were a little slower in those days and, over a busy lunch time when everyone was surfing, it was clear that what was loading was a generic picture of a metal cup and then another picture of our name was being overlaid on top of it. We were so scammed!
We investigated further and discovered that technically it managed to sail close enough to not being an actual scam to avoid being shut down - it was vanity publishing. It was true that everyone's poems would be published in an anthology which could be purchased and, apparently, people really did turn up to ceremonies at which they were given engraved trinkets. The poems were pretty rubbish though and there was no quality control - one colleague admitted that his poem had just been some random words and phrases stuck together and he was a bit surprised to find himself hailed as a poet laureate too.
I was amazed to find that people were falling for it though - some of the published poems were dreadful and it seems there was no editing of typos or spelling mistakes. Apparently it went on for years and Wikipedia has quite an interesting entry on it.
Anyway, here's my "winning" poem. It's obviously crap but I like to think it has flashes of genius. Fortunately it didn't cost me any money ;)
to partake in a rhyme
Yes indeed, it stands up to the test,
I'm not in jest
Mine's the best
*technically the term 'taint' with this meaning is archaic / obsolete and you should feel free to replace it with tint, but it doesn't rhyme as well, unless you also pronounce 'ain't' as 'int'.