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  1. #1
    JTB717 is offline Junior Member
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    Won an online contest but they wont send the prize

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Pa

    I entered and won a basketball bracket contest online hosted by Dell Sports and sponsored by Albuquerque Journal online. The sponsor was the one offering the prize but will not pay me the prize as they claim it was a mistake that the contest was active. I was not made aware until after was over and I inquired about the prize.

    Here is what they say regarding what happened.

    According to Dell Sports, Hoops Hysteria would have only be accessible to people who bookmarked last year’s URL. The contest was not disabled in order to 1.) fulfill contractual obligations to the Journal and 2.) make it easy should we have decided at the last minute to use their services.

    When I registered for the bracket contest I accepted the rules. Everything regarding the contest was active including the bracket teams, and referenced 2012 and that indicated to me it was an active contest. Nothing in the rules stated I had to enter through a link on the website. I followed the rules. I enter a large number of bracket contests and usually find them through a google search which is the way I found this bracket contest so Dell Sports is wrong, it is not only found by being bookmarked, Even if it was only bookmarked, the fact is that even through a bookmarked link, the contest was active for 2012. I searched Dell Sports on google and it brought me up over 50 different links to sponsors bracket contests. I entered the ones who had a prize and were showing active 2012 which this one was.

    What are my options since they won't pay. I won and shouldn't be penalzied for someones mistake.
  2. #2
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
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    So you just stumbled upon this contest? Was this contest ever advertised to the public?
  3. #3
    Mnemosyne is offline Member
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    Shhhhhh. That's what makes OP's strategy such genius: by entering contests that no one else knows about, his chances of winning are greatly improved.

    Quote Originally Posted by swalsh411 View Post
    Was this contest ever advertised to the public?
  4. #4
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    You likely agreed to a disclaimer which alleviates any responsibility on their part.
  5. #5
    Stevef is offline Senior Member
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    You need to determine if the contest rules as posted rise to the level of a unilateral contract. That means they must spell out exactly what steps you need to perform, and that by following those steps, you can collect the prize.

    If their contest does amount to a unilateral contract (which indicates they have a lousy lawyer writing their rules), go ahead and sue them for breach of contract.
  6. #6
    JTB717 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by swalsh411 View Post
    So you just stumbled upon this contest? Was this contest ever advertised to the public?
    Did I stumble upon it? I was searching google for bracket contests to enter and this was one that was listed. I also entered it last year.

    Here is the link to the contest.
    [url]http://abqjournal.dellsports.com/marchbrackets/prizes[/url]
  7. #7
    racer72 is offline Senior Member
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    The most you could sue for would be the expenses you incurred in entering the contest. That would be the limit of your damages.
    If you feel my answer is rude, mean, snarky or in anyway not to your liking, I did my job. You don't need to tell me.

    No private messages, I do not reply to them.
  8. #8
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
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    That does not look like a legitimate contest to me.

    But since you have no damages, you have no case.
  9. #9
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    Here is your disclaimer.

    Q: How do you win the game?
    A: Your local media partner will determine the winner and award a prize if one is offered. Visit the "Standings" sub-navigation on the Results tab to check on your performance on a throughout the tournament.
    [url]http://abqjournal.dellsports.com/marchbrackets/faq[/url]
  10. #10
    JTB717 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer72 View Post
    The most you could sue for would be the expenses you incurred in entering the contest. That would be the limit of your damages.
    Why not the $1000 prize, since that is the prize listed?

    Aren't there specific laws which strictly govern contests/sweepstakes? What would stop every company from having a contest and not giving the prize?

    I recall a contest a few years ago where they said if you get this question right, you win a new car, and she got it right but they gave her a match box car. They went to court an ruled that she gets an actual car.
  11. #11
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    The local media partner determined this was an experimental site and not a real contest, advertised as such. Therefore, unlike similar sites, made for other media partners, which actually held the contest, there is no winner, since there was no contest.
  12. #12
    JTB717 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by swalsh411 View Post
    That does not look like a legitimate contest to me.

    But since you have no damages, you have no case.
    Not sure what you mean by it not looking legitimate. Would you know what a legitimate one looks like? How these bracket contest work is you have a company/hoste site, in this case Dell SPorts, who creats software to run the NCAA Bracket contest. Dell sports offers a national prize for anyone who gets a perfect bracket. They then sell their software to local media sponsors who then use the software to run their local contest. These local media sponsors, in this case Albuquerque Journal then have the option of oferring a local prize in addition to the National prize. In this case the rules stated the winner gets $1000.00.

    Not sure why you say I have no damages. I entered a contest, agreed to and followed the rules and had an expectation that I would win the prize. So in essence we had a contract, their rules stated they were offering a prize and I fulfilled the obligations to win the prize.

    There are over 50 links to locally run bracket contests using Dell Sports as the site host. In some cases they offer local prizes and some they don't. I only entered the ones where they were offering a local prize and that is why I entered the Albuquerque Journal one. It was my expectation that if I got the highest score, I would win the $1000. When the contest was over I sent email to link on the site, and it went to the site host. They said congratulations on the win, but they do not provide the local prize, that comes from the sponsor. At that time I contacted the sponsor and that is when they told me it was a mistake.

    If it was a mistake, someone needs to provide me with the $. As it turns out, I alos won a different bracket contest where the same sort of thing, the link was not supposed to be active this year, but it was. They gave me the prize which was $250 and a jersey, because they said it was not my fault. Because the contest was "active" they had to give me the prize.
  13. #13
    JTB717 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by OHRoadwarrior View Post
    The local media partner determined this was an experimental site and not a real contest, advertised as such. Therefore, unlike similar sites, made for other media partners, which actually held the contest, there is no winner, since there was no contest.
    Everything about the contest was real except at the end the local media sponsor said it was a mistake. There were 10 others who also entered. If they had said in the middle of the contest or prior to it starting that it was not active this year, as it was in the past, then I would have accepted that.
  14. #14
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    So stop asking us and sue them. Let the judge decide.
  15. #15
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTB717 View Post
    If it was a mistake, someone needs to provide me with the $. As it turns out, I alos won a different bracket contest where the same sort of thing, the link was not supposed to be active this year, but it was. They gave me the prize which was $250 and a jersey, because they said it was not my fault. Because the contest was "active" they had to give me the prize.
    They probably just paid you to make you go away. Asking the same question again and again insisting you are right does not change the correct answers you have already been given.

    If you are so sure you are right, then sue. You are wasting your time though.

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