Today show viewers were left asking questions after a Queensland man won the $130,000 Block of Cash from a phone competition, only to have a crew on his doorstep as he won.
Viewer Coralie Allan posted a petition at Change.org demanding the show refund monies to entrants.
“20 minutes before the supposed ‘random’ call, the hosts of the show were encouraging people to call in and enter as there was supposedly still time to be in the draw,” she wrote.
“The terms and conditions on their website, state that “Competition days close 16:30 AEDT each Sun-Thurs up until 18/05/17. Draws at 17:00 AEDT/AEST on each competition day. Cash calls made following day Mon-Fri up until 19/05/17. Yet on the morning of 10/05/2017, the hosts were encouraging people to ring in and enter at a cost of $0.55 cents per call or sms, knowing that the competition for that draw had closed.”
Nine declined to say how far in advance contestants were chosen but issued a statement:
“There have been some inaccurate reports regarding this morning’s Block of Cash giveaway on the Today show,” it said.
“To correct any misinformation and concerns, Nine reaffirms the competition is run in accordance with clearly stated terms and conditions to protect all entrants and ensure fairness in the operations.
“As a live television show, when it is possible to have a crew in the vicinity of the call recipient, and if they answer the call correctly, we are able to capture the reaction as soon as possible.
“Often, the public is unaware of the presence of a crew because the call is not answered in time.
“When there is a moment of joy to be shared, we endeavour to do so with our viewers.”