An award is something given to a person or a group of people to recognize their excellence in a certain field; a certificate of excellence. Awards are often signified by trophies, titles, certificates, commemorative plaques, medals, badges, pins, or ribbons. An award may carry a monetary prize given to the recipient; for example, the Nobel Prize for contributions to society or the Pulitzer Prize for literary achievements. An award may also simply be a public acknowledgment of excellence, without any tangible token or prize.
A booby prize is a joke prize usually given in recognition of a terrible performance or last-place finish. A person who finishes last, for example, may get a booby prize such as a worthless coin. Booby prizes are sometimes humorously and jokingly coveted as an object of pride.
Booby prizes, however, may not be given just to those who just have a terrible performance. At times, the term "booby prize" is used for a consolation prize given to all non-placing participants of a competition.