The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

July 1, 2008

Cable system fails to deliver promised prize to local winner

On the Friday before Father’s Day, Chris Lewis was standing in the kitchen of her Limestone County home when her 15-year-old daughter rushed downstairs shrieking, “Mama! Mama! We won the big-screen TV!”

A few days earlier, Whitney had entered an online Father’s Day promotion by Charter Communications in which, according to the Web page, participants could win “a Giant HDTV” for “The World’s Greatest Dad – Yours!”

Participants had to describe why they thought their fathers should win the TV.

“Whitney wrote that her dad gets up every morning and works hard and comes home and works in the yard,” said Chris, who proofed her daughter’s entry. “She didn’t say he was a superhero – just someone who does what he is supposed to do. Maybe that was why she won – because she told it like it is.”

Mike Lewis, Whitney’s dad, works at First Choice Printing in Decatur, where he binds books and makes deliveries.

Charter’s Web page stated that one lucky dad would receive the grand prize – a 65-inch LCD, high-definition, flat-panel television as well as free Charter HD service and the Charter bundle, which includes Internet, cable television and telephone service. Paying the tax on the television seemed to be the only hitch. The Web page also states that four finalists would receive free Charter HD service and the Charter bundle for one year. It was June 13 when Whitney bolted into the kitchen of their Blackburn Road home to share the news with her mother. Whitney, who will be in 10th grade at Clements High School this year, had just spoken with Jeff Hatcher of Charter’s marketing offices in Alabama and Georgia. Hatcher had told Whitney he liked her entry best and that her dad had won the TV. He also spoke with Chris and told her he needed Mike’s W-9 (an IRS form used by a company to request your taxpayer identification number) and Chris’ e-mail address.

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