I heard several times that if theres a star somewhere on the Tootsie Pop wrapper, you can redeem it for a free Tootsie Pop
Kenneth heard the legend from friends during elementary school (in Monterrey Park).
Having heard the legend myself, I assume it is fairly widespread (at least in the United States). Similar to Kenneth, I heard the legend during elementary school from my peers. Some kids even claimed to have actually received free Tootsie Pops after sending in their wrapper with a shooting star.
Even as a young child, I was very questioning and skeptical. I thought it was a bit odd that a company use their time and effort to send a Tootsie Pop which then retailed for about 15 cents each (the postage was worth more than the Tootsie Pop essentially). But I still believed the legend and carefully checked my wrappers but never found one with a shooting star (as did Kenneth).
According to David Emery of about.com, the legend is completely false, although some small retail stores did honor this legend by giving free Tootsie Pops for the wrapper. What seems odd about Emerys article is that he claims approximately 1 out of 3 Tootsie Pop wrappers had an Indian shooting a star just for variety. Of all the Tootsie Pops I had during my childhood, I do not remember even one that had this special wrapper. Perhaps it was my rotten luck or perhaps Tootsie Pops with the special wrapper were not being sold by retailers in the Dallas area.
Annotated: The legend can be found at http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/business/a/tootsie_pop.htm
Date of access: April 24, 2007