Everyone loves the feeling when they’re told they’ve won a prize, but when that prize is a biggie in the shape of a £20000 trip to the Monaco Grand Prix, that feeling is magnified! It’s a trip of a lifetime, a chance to live like that rich and famous and enjoy one of the highlights of the F1 racing calendar.
Now…. imagine the feeling to be told just days before the event that the prize has been cancelled and that instead of the trip, you’ll be receiving a refund of between £3 and £15 or nothing depending on how you won the prize.
Sadly, for one Loquax user the above is reality and user reaction, initially to the win, and then the subsequent loss of the prize can be found on the forums. However, they are not alone and a similar story is also on ITV F1 and Manchester Evening News .
The competition was Monty’s Millions, run by Millionaire Games Ltd. It featured on a number of top UK websites including Top Gear who “teamed up with MontysMillions.com to offer you and a friend the chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip of a lifetime to the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix, valued at a whopping £20,000!”. The winners would stay at the five-star Boscola Hotel and get the chance to watch the Grand Prix from a 135ft Mega Yacht AVA in Monaco Harbour.
According to the report in the MEN the company had problems with “a vital element of the prize”. This apparently was the yacht from which the winning contestants would watch the Grand Prix. It’s unclear why they couldn’t have substituted that part of the prize, or just offered the winners a weekend in Monaco?
The report also says the company lost money on the promotion. Whether this had anything to do with their decision to cancel the prize and refund the winners remains to be seen, but usually when a prize can’t be fulfilled the promoter should attempt to replace the prize with something of equal or higher value.
Currently the site is closed but a cached version of the prize rules are available via google. In the rules they do sadly state “There is no cash alternative or any alternative to the winning trip to Monaco in May 2007”. The rules also state “The Promoter reserves the right to cancel any competition, for any reason, before the designated closing date”, however there’s no information about what would happen if the prize failed to materialise? From initial reports, it does appear they’ve optted to refund monies and not fulfill the prize.
With paid to enter competitions under more scrutiny because of recent TV phone scandals, this kind of event leaves a very bad taste in the mouth for all concerned with competitions. It’s now up to the promoters to sort this issue out, but the “winners” may find themselves without a prize or any kind of recompense.
Hopefully the Institute of Sales and Promotions or Advertising Standards Authority (both good channels to pursue when you have a problem with a missing prize or poorly run competition) will be able to help them.
We don’t know if Monty’s Millions will return as their website suggests, but after this few compers would entertain them. A google search shows that they have recently become the sponsor of Chris Stockton’s BTC Racing Lexus (BTCC.net). If Chris is successful in this year’s BTCC races it may well be that he is the only winner with Monty’s Millions.