Today backflips over controversial prize call
IT'S been an emotional rollercoaster for one Today viewer this morning, who managed to win, lose and then regain a huge chunk of cash during the show.
The Nine set erupted with confetti, streamers and cheers of "Congratulations!" when Steve Donohue from Mollymook seemed to successfully receive the call to win $40,000 cash - the only stipulation having been that he answer the phone saying, "I wake up with Today."
Seconds later, the happy moment was shattered as the hosts suddenly backtracked.
"Just to clarify, we have got a team upstairs who have a better grasp of the audio coming through than we do here on the floor, because there's a lot of stuff going on here. And the first word that came out was 'hello'," Ben Fordham said, as the colourful celebrations flashed awkwardly around him.
"So that's what we are being told from upstairs. We will double-check to make sure everything is shipshape. But there are very strict legal terms and conditions and to everyone else who is involved in the competition, you can't have someone be awarded the prize when they haven't actually said 'I wake up with Today' first. Otherwise, you have other people who have entered and become very disappointed."
Just over an hour later, Steve's luck changed yet again, when Fordham - who's currently filling in for Karl Stefanovic - revealed that he had an "update on the situation."
"We made a call earlier on and we didn't know whether the caller had answered correctly. So we have got some good news for the man called Steve Donohue from Mollymook," he said. "We have reviewed the call. We have listened very carefully to the recording. We have gone through the terms and conditions with a fine toothcomb. And the good news, for him, is he did answer correctly ... So we do have a winner this morning."
It's certainly not the first time a breakfast show's cash giveaway has gone awry.
Back in 2016, Sunrise host David 'Kochie' Koch famously lost his cool when their Cash Cow winner answered the phone with their rival show's tagline.
The call was worth $30,000 and the viewer, John, picked up just before the third ring, declaring: "I wake up with Today, hello?"
The other three Sunrise co-hosts burst into laughter but Kochie was far from impressed.
"You stupid man!" he said.
"John, why the frick would you wake up with Today? ... I'm not sure we're gonna give you the bloody cash now you two-timer."