Penguins Tell 460 Fans They Won Tickets, Then Take it Back

Text message snafu causes contest chaos

Many of us have learned the lesson about drinking and texting the hard way. Once you press send, there's nothing you can do to get back that thing you didn't really want to send, and that can cause a lot of embarrassment when the message reaches its recipient. And that's just when one person gets the message. Imagine multiplying that by 460.

There's no reason to believe that anyone in the Penguins organization was drinking when they sent out text messages to inform fans that they'd won four tickets to Wednesday night's Game Three with the Capitals in a contest. The embarrassing part came an hour later when each of the fans received the following text message from the Penguins.

"Due 2prgrmng error, the results of 2days student rush txt alrt were invalid &unfortunately u didn't win the contest. We apologize 4inconvenience. STOP."

STOP? Was it a text message or a telegram?

Penguins spokesman Tom McMillian told KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh that "someone pushed the wrong button" and that someone from the team would be calling all 460 fans on Wednesday to offer a personal apology. That's a nice touch, especially since the mistake was quickly noticed and rectified, but the Penguins aren't stopping there.

All of the affected fans will receive two tickets to a game next season, a t-shirt, a cap and a $25 gift card for their relatively minor troubles. That's a pretty strong response when the team could easily have just written it off as a technical snafu and left things at that.

They went the extra mile, though, and probably assured that not one of the 460 fans will leave feeling like they got a raw deal from the team. Quite the opposite, in fact. They likely feel like the team really cares about them which can only be a good thing for the future. Now if they can figure out a way to stop Alexander Ovechkin, it will be a win-win-win.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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