Red or Black? Should They Take The Money Back!?

Published on 8th September 2011

On the recent Wow – More Competition Controversies! blog, one of our users pointed out that all the issues highlighted were truly overshadowed by the controversy surrounding Red or Black? winner Nathan Hageman. Hageman was the first millionaire winner of the new Simon Cowell game show, however it transpires that he was allegedly jailed for beating up a woman (Sky News).

With his past exposed newspapers and politicians clamoured for the prize money to be taken off the winner. The Sun wanted to “Strip TV Brute Nathan Hageman of His Million and by all accounts it did seem that ITV investigated whether they could do such a thing.

However, Hageman gets to keep his money, much to the fury of Simon Cowell according to The Mirror. Hageman allegedly told researchers about his past and based on that they allowed him on to the show. It’s unclear whether he told them the full facts – and it was via that angle that they tried to strip him of his money (The Guardian).

However, legally ITV seem unable to budge. The issue after all is their fault. They allowed the contestant on to the show! The Mirror reports that programme organisers are tightening up their screening processes and have already dropped other contestants. No doubt to avoid further embarrassment.

The closest “similar case” we could think of was when Michael Carroll won £9.7m on the lotto. He picked up his cheque wearing an electronic tag. His win catapulted him into the tabloids – as did his subsequent splashing of the cash. Hageman would be wise to learn from Carroll and keep his head down.

All in all, there are many emotive points surrounding the Hageman case. Should the victim get a share of the money, as seemingly suggested by Cowell? Should former criminals be banned from TV game shows? Should former criminals be allowed to play the lottery? Should former criminals be banned from “winning” anything?

One thing’s for sure – the controversy has kept the game show on the front pages of the newspapers for a week!

What do you think? Leave your comment on the blog…

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