My Horrible Experience with a Radio Contest

So… I had a horrible experience with a radio station giveaway last Friday. Let me preface this by saying that I have never won any kind of contest in my life. But, my wife registered us for this radio contest for which the prize was a trip to see one of my favorite bands of all time in one of my favorite vacation spots from when I was a child. (I’m intentionally being fuzzy on the details because I do not want a radio station suing me for defamation).

At any rate, the station called one day early last week and said we were finalists.  We had no idea how many finalists there were, and the weather was pretty bad out on the day of the drawing.  We thought some people might stay home.  So, we figured we would give it a shot to go to the drawing.

Radio Contest 1
(Hanging out and looking
happy before the drawing)

We got to the location where the drawing was to take place and found out there were 24 finalists.  We hung out for a while with free refreshments.  Then, they did the drawing.  It was a reverse drawing, so the first person drawn was the first person out.  To make a long story short, I got all the way down to the end when they realized that there were only three tickets left in the jar and four contestants left standing.  Something was not right.  The winner was to be the person with their ticket left in the jar at the end…

Radio Contest 2
(Me thinking: Wow!
I might really win this trip)

But, for some reason they kept going.  Guess what… I was the last one standing, but for the wrong reason.  Somehow the person in charge of putting the tickets in the jar had missed my ticket and it never made it into the drawing.  I am standing there thinking “Did I just win?”  And, then they realized what had happened and started the whole thing over again.  Next go round my ticket was about the fifth one drawn.  No trip.

At this point, I look back and think – if only they had stopped when there were three tickets left in the jar and four people left standing.  I think I could have left without the least sickening feeling.  But, the way things went down I left feeling like I had almost won this totally awesome thing only to have the rug pulled out from under me.  I’m sure I will get over it.  I’m sure it was an honest mistake that everyone running the contest seemed to feel badly about.  But I doubt I’ll be listening to that station for a while.  The person pulling tickets was a host of one of their shows, and the sound of his voice currently unsettles my stomach.