Same-name contestants force casino to pay up, twice

It paid to be Kevin Lewis at Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati Saturday.

As part of its $3 million summer giveaway promotion, Horseshoe Casino announced Kevin Lewis as one of its $1 million winners. But it came as a surprise for 52-year-old Kevin L. Lewis that the real winner was another Kevin Lewis, also from Cincinnati.

Both Kevin Lewis’ entered the giveaway. Only one was present when Kevin Lewis was announced as the winner, but it was the wrong Kevin Lewis.

“When I heard my name I said ‘God finally gave me a big win,’” he told WCPO-TV.

After he accepted the prize, casino officials realized the other Kevin Lewis—who was at home when the winner was announced—was the rightful winner.

Jennifer Kulczycki, a spokeswoman for the Horseshoe Casino’s parent company, Rock Game LLC, told WCPO that human error in the winner verification process was the reason for the double giveaway.

Casino officials drew the name Kevin Lewis and as part of the preliminary process just validated that the Kevin Lewis that came forward was the “appropriate person.”

Through the more extensive verification process after, they realized they had more than one Kevin Lewis in the drawing and had rewarded the wrong one.

“There are a lot of similarities between these two Kevin Lewises with age and things like that, so it was one of those mistakes that you probably couldn’t have scripted if you wanted to,” Kulczycki told WCPO.

Fortunately for Kevin Lewis—both of them—casino officials are rewarding both men $1 million.

“That was our blunder,” Horseshoe Cincinnati General Manager Kevin Kline said in a statement. “So, consistent with our commitment to do the right thing for our guests, Horseshoe awarded a $1 million prize to each of the men.”

The casino will be reviewing its contest winner verification process to avoid another costly error. The third and final $1 million of the now-$4 million-total summer giveaway is scheduled for Sept. 1.

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