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Land Rover Defender 110 raffle prize forfeited on a technicality

The lady who won the Power Plant Mall raffle won’t get to take the SUV home

At least Mrs. Spakowski has this photo to remember the time she almost won a Defender. PHOTO FROM ALVIN UY

Imagine this: You are relaxing at home when your phone rings. You answer the call. The person’s lively voice on the other end verifies your identity, then excitedly congratulates you for being the raffle winner of a brand-new luxury vehicle. You’d be a rock not to feel the least bit ecstatic about it, right?

This is what recently happened to Lele Spakowski, who was electronically drawn as the lucky winner of a new Land Rover Defender 110 at Power Plant Mall’s popular holiday car raffle. This was the establishment’s first digital raffle draw to promote contactless transactions and improve safety for its patrons as entries were submitted via Rockwell’s loyalty app.

I caught a post of a Philippine Daily Inquirer colleague on social media a couple of days ago regarding the said winner. The winner’s surname “Spakowski” immediately rang a bell. I wondered if she was related to John Spakowski, a friend of mine staying here in La Union whom I eventually messaged. As it turned out, Lele is the aunt of my buddy John, and I was happy for her win. I even suggested that John borrow the car and bring it here so we could take it off-road and photograph it in the process. He was very keen on the idea.

The following morning, my social-media feed revealed Alvin Uy’s Inquirer Mobility article on Lele Spakowski’s disqualification from the raffle. Turns out she won’t be receiving the P6,500,000 SUV prize. Even my heart sank to the floor for a moment. So, what happened?

Apparently, a quick background check was done after the livestream raffle event, and Lele was found to be married to someone who works for one of the business establishments inside the mall. According to the raffle rules, all employees of Rockwell malls, the service providers, and the tenants—with relations up to the second degree of consanguinity—will be disqualified. As painful as it is, the rules are crystal clear, and Mrs. Spakowski, who wasn’t aware of the technicality, won’t be driving home the handsome prize.

Power Plant Mall announced that it would be doing another draw tomorrow, February 6. Those of you who submitted electronic raffle entries will get another crack at winning the adventure-spirited SUV.

I feel for Mrs. Spakowski, but rules are rules, and I’m pretty sure she’s a good sport about it. I do hope they’d at least send her a nice bouquet of flowers.

Manskee Nascimento

Manskee is a music-loving petrolhead who specializes in car care. He finds peace in long drives to and from his home in La Union.