Boat bid contest becomes blunder for Grand Casino - KMSP-TV

Boat bid contest becomes blunder for Grand Casino

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HINCKLEY, Minn. (KMSP) -

A Coon Rapids woman says Grand Casino sunk her dream of keeping the boat she was told she had won on Sunday.

"I love Grand Casino -- at least, I did until now," Linda Skillings told FOX 9 News with a laugh.

Skillings, 68, loves to gamble at casinos across Minnesota, and she thought she had finally hit the jackpot this weekend.

"I was kind of in shock because I've never won anything in my life," Skillings recalled. "All of these people are congratulating me and giving me hugs."

Grand Casino in Hinckley was holding a bidding promotion on Sunday where contest participants could guess the price of a boat at the casino and the closest guess would win the prize.

"My friend bid $8,900. I said, 'No way," so I threw in $15,000," Skillings explained.

Soon, the announcement was made that Skillings would sail away with the grand prize.

"Everybody was ecstatic," Skillings said.

Skillings still has her winning ticket, but she didn't get to celebrate for long.

"All of a sudden, out of the clear blue, this little old lady came up and said, 'My husband hast he winning ticket," Skillings recalled. "I figured I had the boat. They didn't come, they weren't called. I wasn't worried about it."

Until 45 minutes later, that is, when the new announcement was made.

"They were going to honor him because it had been a computer malfunction," Skillings explained.

Grand Casino acknowledged that Skillings was mistakenly named as the winner in a statement, which can be read in full below.

"They said, 'You are getting $2,500.' I said, 'That's a big shot between $15,000 and $2,500,'" she said.

Skillings will keep the second-place prize, but she said she still feels cheated because it wasn't her mistake. She plans to go back to Hinckley on Tuesday. If nothing is resolved, she may file a complaint with the Indian Gaming Association.

Below is the statement from Grand Casino Hinckley regarding the boat bid blunder:

On Sunday, July 15, Grand Casino Hinckley announced that Linda Skillings had won a fishing boat as part of the Bid It You Could Win It promotion. The promotion is a bidding game that Guests played over the weekend. One of the requirements for winning the grand prize was that the Guest needed to check in to a casino kiosk and must be present to win on Sunday.

Skillings was mistakenly named as the winner. When the announcement was made, a Guest immediately notified the casino that she thought there might be an error. Grand Casino Hinckley asked the Guests to remain on stage while we verified the results. We quickly discovered that a computer glitch earlier in the day had not accounted for a Guest who had checked into the kiosk and who was actually the grand prize winner.

Ultimately, Robert Evans was the legitimate winner of the boat. Skillings was the second place winner of $2,500.

Grand Casino Hinckley is sorry for the error, and we are contacting Ms. Skillings personally to apologize.


By Monday night, Skillings told FOX 9 News she still has not received that apology.

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