Contest winner's prize goes poof

Seven On Your Side
May 18, 2009 2:59:16 PM PDT
The New Jersey native had been entering contests and for years had come up empty. Until last January, when she won a magazine contest. But after the prize went poof, it was time for 7 on your side to get it back. "I got the call and I thought it was a joke at first. I was like 'Oh God!' Because I never win anything." Patti Allen was the astonished contest winner of Prevention Magazine's sweepstakes last January. The grand prize? An expensive party thrown by the magazine.

"A chef was supposed to come to the house and you are supposed to have a party. And a party planner was gonna come with decorations and we were gonna have food," said Patti.

The grand prize was worth thousands. So Patti started planning to throw a birthday bash for her two youngest sons. She started trading emails with the magazine.

"(But) they stopped communicating." Patti says months went by with little word from the magazine about her contest win. Patti says she heard the snag was the woman who was coordinating the prize had gotten laid off. It was time for the 7 On Your Side prize patrol to ramp up and get on the case.

And just a few days after we called Patti got some good news. "We are gonna have a party," yelled Patti.

Prevention Magazine apologized and got the chef and party planner in touch with Patti immediately.

And just this past weekend, Patti finally had her prize, her son's birthday party. Since her son's love the Mets, the party planner gave her backyard a baseball feel.

Each guest got a replica Mets jersey. The kids munched on hot dogs, pretzels, and and two chefs took care of the food for the grownups. A magician even did card tricks. The rain held out, and the party was a success.

That made the group happy enough to yell, "Thank you 7 on your side!"

Afterward, there were no excuses from the magazine. They admitted there were some restructuring of employees and this contest winner fell through the cracks. But Patti couldn't have been happier with the result, she said it was a great party.


Story by: Tappy Phillips

Produced by: Steve Livingstone

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Tappy Phillips