DUBAI // Competition organisers have defended their text contest against claims of tampering after the same contestants were awarded multiple prizes.
The luck of the draw meant three contestants in du's SMS Mega Win each picked up two major prizes in the same promotion.
In each case, the winner first collected Dh5,000, then a few days later collected the keys to an Audi 1.
Readers contacted The National about the contest saying they did not understand how on three separate occasions one person could win twice in a prize draw.
However, du said the double wins were simply a result of the way the promotion was set up. "The structure of the SMS Mega Win challenge enables participants to win multiple prizes - but not the same prize more than once," the company said.
"The SMS Mega Win challenge has been preapproved and audited by the Department of Economic Development [DED] and the winners are declared under the auspices of DED officials present at the time of every draw."
Double-winning contestant Ala Khaleel, who lives in Dubai, said he was not surprised when he was told he had won twice because he had checked the rules and knew this was possible. He added: "I was very, very happy, but I was not shocked."
The contest began on May 24 and will continue until July 21. There is a Dh5,000 winner each day, and every Saturday someone wins a car.
Three out of the first four car winners had previously won the cash prize.
On the final day, one contestant will win an Audi Q7 in the grand draw.
Contestants are asked a series of questions about general knowledge, entertainment, sport or facts by text, and must choose from two alternative answers, one correct and one wrong.
They receive 20 or more points for the right answer, and 10 if they choose the incorrect one. Each text costs Dh3.
Mr Khaleel said he entered the contest more than 200 times a day during the first two weeks to make sure he had a chance of winning - and he is still playing, though not as often, as he hopes to win the Q7 as well. "I'm playing a maximum 20 times a day now," he said.
Another double winner, Ravindra Motagi, who lives in Dubai, said: "This is the first time I have won in a contest, but I already have a car so I am thinking of selling the Audi."
How it works:
“The daily winner is selected by a random draw; the more points a participant earns during the day, the chances of winning is more,” said du.
“The weekly prize [an Audi 1] winner is chosen on the basis of the highest score; so a daily winner is also included. Qualification is based on points accumulated plus points earned during the course of that particular week.
“For the grand prize [an Audi Q7], all points earned are carried forward irrespective of the participant being a daily or weekly winner. Points earned are never lost. With these points, all participating entries will automatically qualify for the grand prize draw at the end of the campaign.”