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"I been buying the Daily News because I'm on a fixed income," said the 62-year-old, who believed she had won $1,000. "I was real excited. I thought 'I can pay some doctors bills - whatever.'"But her excitement turned to anger when she learned the paper misprinted the winning numbers in a monumental gaffe that has infuriated countless New Yorkers who thought they won cash prizes as high as $100,000. "A thousand dollars is like a lot of money," Himelfelt said. "I almost feel like they're really trying to rip us off. Just because they made a mistake why should the public suffer? The Daily News really has a lot of nerve."News executives put the blame on the Long Island company that operates the sweepstakes, D.L. Blair, saying the contest administrator misprinted one of the games' 10 daily scratch-off numbers. "We were outraged that the third party company that runs our game should have made such a mistake," Daily News President and Chief Operating Officer Les Goodstein said in Tuesday's Daily News. "We are furious that our readers should have been placed in such an intolerable position."The paper announced Tuesday that it will be awarding a total of $1 million in cash prizes to contestants who thought they won with the misprinted numbers. The special drawing will dole out 12,800 awards, with five contestants eligible to win $100,000. Normally, there is only one $100,000 winner each week. But the News' consolation contest is not good enough for a Queens lawyer who is filing a "multimillion-dollar" lawsuit against the paper on behalf of dozens of angry plaintiffs charging the paper of breach of contract and causing emotional distress. "How irresponsible can you get?" said attorney Steve Gilden, of Kew Gardens law firm of Gilden, Zelenitz & Shapiro. "These readers all believed they were going to be bathing in bucks, but now all the Daily News can do is pass the buck to someone else." Reach reporter Matthew Monks by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, ext. 156.
©2005 Community Newspaper Group
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