Coca Cola Tells $10,000 Winner He Did Not Win; Gives Him $500 Instead

A Connecticut limo driver with six kids was thrilled to discover he had won $10,000 in scholarship funds in a new Coca Cola sweepstakes. He even got a message from Coke congratulating him on his win. Turns out it wasn’t The Real Thing after all: the message was an error, triggered by a promo test. He hadn’t won a cent, because the “Twist and Text” contest didn’t actually start for another three weeks.

He took his case to a local TV channel, who helped nudge the soft drinks behemoth into begrudgingly handing over $500. (Would that be in pennies?) And Coke refuses to pay any more because apparently it’s like sooo hard to control sweepstakes, since soda shipments can arrive at stores too early.

Um, that may be true, but surely it wouldn’t have been too difficult for Coke (and the contest administrators, e-Prize) to have set up an automatic response that explained the contest didn’t start until May 1st? Perhaps they’re new to this texting lark.

But anyway, since the label on the bottle did list the official contest start date, this is clearly one instance where it pays (literally) for the consumer to read the fine print.

Man can’t swallow sweepstakes error [WTNH] (Thanks to Dave!)
(Photo: Ken Roberts Photography)