Sinowa Cruz did not turn out to be the kind of customer Bretz RV and Marine wanted, but a judge says the company still owes the Kalispell man a $1,000 prize from a contest.
The Associated Press reported that Cruz made a down payment of $1,000 on a recreational vehicle to Missoula, Mont.-based Bretz RV last winter at a Flathead Valley vehicle show. A purchase contract entitled him to visit the Money Machine, where Cruz had a chance to catch a dollar bill among many blown about in a windy chamber. Cruz caught the currency with a serial number good for a $1,000 prize, according to a document filed in court.
A few days later, before the anticipated delivery of a recreational vehicle to Cruz, Bretz RV and Marine learned its sources would not grant him a loan for the vehicle.
Bretz returned the $1,000 down payment but would not pay Cruz the $1,000 he won at the Money Machine. The prize was not warranted because the purchase was not completed, the company said.
Cruz took the matter to Justice Court, where a judge ruled recently that no conditions had been attached to the prize money and that Cruz should receive it.
Bretz owner Mark Bretz said the Money Machine contest was reserved for people making purchases. The company will appeal.