Competition winners missing prize money

November 5, 2009 9:00:00 PM PST
A competition left some college students wondering what happened to their prize money.After six months, the students were still looking for their prize money and decided to contact ABC11 Eyewitness News' Troubleshooter Diane Wilson.

The students said they worked hard on the competition and were excited when they won $1,000.

Joshua Lee and one of his teammates Eli Barrett said in April, they took part in the North Carolina Sustainable Building Design Competition in Raleigh.

Their goal was to design an energy efficient residential building to meet the needs of a local community group who serves the people.

"We won first place we were excited about it," Barrett said. "We were told initially the day of the competition we would receive our money somewhere within a month to two months."

But after two months, they had not received any money. So they said they started sending e-mails to the organizer of the competition asking for an update. In the e-mails they were asked to send in additional information.

"We were sending in the same thing two of three times and it never really did nothing," Lee said.

"Initially, she was writing us back and staying in contact saying the money would be sent, and then finally after six months she just stopped contact," Barrett added.

So that's when Lee said he decided to contact ABC11 for help.

"My dad watches you all the time on the news, and has been looking for a reason to give you a call and get you involved and I guess this was it and it worked pretty well," he said.

ABC11 got in touch with the organizer of the competition, Dr. Pam Carpenter from the North Carolina Solar Center. She said the checks were being prepared prior to our contact and they just FedEx the checks to the winning team.

"You got results in two days, you can't really complain about that," Lee said.

"One thousand dollars is $1,000 and as a college student need it even more and matter of fact that's going to pay my rent next month," Barrett said.

The $1,000 was split between the four team members, which included Lee and Barrett.

Carpenter said they are several reasons why it took so long to get the award money, including the university being required to follow policy and procedure to make sure they're in compliance with their sponsors and other agencies.

They also needed additional paperwork from the winning team, plus she said there were some internal communication issues that have now been resolved.

Send pictures | Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts
Most Popular  |  Follow abc11 on Twitter  |  abc11 on Facebook


Load Comments