Gaming chiefs accidentally sent out messages to 770 online bingo players saying that they had won a car instead of just one lucky winner.
The mistake was made by Otto, a German mail order company, one of the largest in the world.
On their Swiss website, the company let customers play bingo with the big winner receiving a brand new Toyota Yaris 1.5 Trend.
However, instead of notifying just one winner that they had won the grand prize, the company accidentally sent out messages to 770 people congratulating them on winning the car.
One of the alleged winners shared Otto’s message on social media and it reads “sincere congratulations” and “you are the winner of our main prize: the Toyota Yaris 1.5 Trend worth 15,500 CHF is yours”.
It also lists a telephone number which the winner needs to call with a message reading “we look forward to your call”.
However, when the lucky people called they were shocked to hear that the winner’s message had in fact been sent to them erroneously.
A later message sent by Otto to the affected customers spoke of a “potentially erroneous winning message due to a technical error”.
It reads: “This message was mistakenly displayed and unfortunately does not correspond to the facts. The cause is currently being analysed, we will soon report back to you.”
While some of the mistaken winners took the error with grace, others were less delighted.
One of those affected took to social media to complain, saying: “I have logged in three times and each time the site appeared with the main prize. I made two screenshots.
“I was immensely looking forward to it and told my family about it in the morning. As a single mother with two children and an old banger of a car it was my absolute dream day and total salvation.
“Sure, mistakes can happen at times, but I’m extremely p*ssed off, angry and totally disappointed.”
Otto quickly apologised to the affected people and CEO Mark Ineichen said: “We regret the incident and apologise formally to all affected customers.”
Those affected are all said to have logged into the website between midnight and 1.30am in the early hours of Sunday.
Otto announced that the mistaken winners could have noticed that there was something wrong with the announcement by the fact that their bingo cards did not have 24 fields completed – the amount required to win the car.
The mail-order company announced that all those affected will receive a voucher valid for their next online order.
The real lucky winner of the Toyota turned out to be a woman identified only as Silvia K. from Adliswil, a town in the Swiss canton of Zurich.
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.