The Federal Trade Commission’s vendetta against robocalls continued today as the agency announced the winner of a contest – and $25,000 – for building an app that blocks and forwards the annoying calls. [More]
There’s a new but not all that innovative scam hitting mailboxes in this country and in the United Kingdom. Experienced scam-spotters will see the problem right away, but not everyone is an experienced scam-spotter. Here’s how it works: a postcard arrives in the mail that says there’s a package waiting for you form a popular chain retailer. You just need to call in with your credit card number to claim it. [More]
How many $1 million dollar lottery tickets have you bought lately? None? Then you’re right there with the rest of us lagging behind an Indiana man who somehow managed to win not one million-dollar jackpot, but two in a span of only three months with his lucky buys. [More]
A fundraiser event in Tampa was sort of a boozy raffle. Guests could pay $20 for a flute of champagne with a clear gemstone at the bottom. Everyone got to drink champagne, and one lucky guest won a diamond worth $5,000. The 80-year-old winner didn’t have to worry about finding a safe place to store the stone on her way home, because she had accidentally swallowed it.
Just about everyone likes winning stuff — especially free food and definitely free donuts. But a man in Texas claims that the stack of free donut coupons he scored as a prize at a Houston Astros game caused his federal tax refund to disappear almost as quickly as that team’s hopes of making the World Series.
Dale writes to us that his two kids came home tasked with a lame magazine subscription assignment on behalf of a classroom magazine called Weekly Reader. It’s a little sleazy to use kids to pry cash out of the pockets of relatives and friends, and I hold that opinion as both a kid who has had to do it and an adult who has received the manipulative “please help my school!” plea in the mail.
Before John Schnatter founded Papa John’s pizza, he was a struggling businessman. Back in 1983 he was reduced to selling his black and gold 1971 Chevy Camaro Z28 for $2,800 to keep his dad’s bar afloat and to start Papa John’s.
Reader Kevin sent us the following entry from his town’s police dispatch log. It seems that the “Steal A Taco” promotion was causing some problems at the drive-thru window of his local Taco Bell.
Apparently, some group of geniuses has been calling people and pretending that they are from the FTC. They start out with some nonsense like “Hi, I’m calling from the Federal Trade Commission to tell you that you have won $250,000…”
Do you enjoy confessing embarrassing details? Mint, the personal finance new kid on the Internet block, is offering up to $5,000 (paid directly to your credit card bill) to two people with the most horrifying personal finance disasters. The winners get free financial counseling as well. You can submit text—”sob stories”—up to 1000 words, or a video—”trainwrecks”—up to four minutes or 20 MB, whichever comes first. If you were paid to do any writing over the past year, you’re ineligible (we already checked).
Yay Internets! Tonedeff—the artist who won Lollapalooza’s Last Band Standing over a year ago but never received the 10k prize package from Gibson—has received his prize. He emailed us today and wrote, “Thanks for covering the story and your support.
DENVER, Nov. 8, 2007 — The Denver division of Centex Homes has offered to give a house to Veronica Baca, one of the original finalists in a disputed home give-away contest in Denver. In addition, the Company has offered to provide furnishings for the home and payment for all reasonable legal fees that Mrs. Baca has incurred.
Veronica Baca thought she’d won a new home. She had been named a finalist in a contest. She pulled the lucky key that opened a prize door at halftime of a Broncos game. She toured the house. She agreed to let the company use her image in advertisements. She signed a form titled “Centex House Party Grand Prize Release.” She was even in the local newspaper.
A Minnesota child won a bear with a Viagra ad from a claw machine at a Red Robin restaurant. The bears were part of a Nascar effort to promote its sponsors.
Unlike other Gawker blogs, we actually send the winners of our contests their prizes. Congrats once again to James C for coming up with one of the winning slogans. We’ll get right on designing that t-shirt….soon…
When I was in school, mysterious state-endorsed hucksters would burst through my classroom door from time to time with arms full of candy bars. These guys would then proceed to gang press us all as unpaid door-to-door candy salesmen. The candy bars (which were usually more peanut and Chinese newspaper than chocolate) were uniformly terrible; moreover, they cost like 5 bucks each. But these guys were smart: they kept us hustling with the promise of prizes for reaching impossible goals. Ten candy bars sold got you a pencil, but a million? A robot dinosaur that transformed into a monster truck. Needless to say, the best prizes were logistically unattainable.
Our package from Teacher’sDiscovery.com finally arrived. This was a big deal, as it meant we were finally able to give Halliburton the crowning glory it deserves for winning our month-long “Worst Company in America” competition.