Channel Nine Denies $130K Today Show Win Was A "Scam"
The Today show has defended a prize giveaway of $130,000 to a viewer, after an online petition claimed that it was a "scam".
On Wednesday morning, Josh Huxley scored the jackpot after answering his phone with the phrase, "I wake up with Today".
A short time later, he was suddenly on camera.
This didn’t sit right for Coralie Allan, another Today viewer.
“This call is supposed to be random. A television crew in presence, in his house belies this claim,” she wrote on her change.org petition.
“[Twenty] 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.
"The competition was closed – yet Channel 9 was still making money from people calling in up until the actual segment.”
A review of Wednesday’s segment, including 20 minutes before the call, the time that was specified in the petition, was conducted by Fairfax. They noted that at that point, Lisa Wilkinson is handed an envelope with the name of the person who could win the $130,000 if they answer their phone correctly.
Fairfax also noted that around that time an advertisement for the daily Block of Cash giveaway is also aired, urging viewers to register – however, at no point did it state that the caller would be in the running for that day's giveaway.
Channel 9 has since issued the following statement:
"There have been some inaccurate reports regarding this morning's Block of Cash giveaway on the TODAY show.
"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."