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$1 million prize for inmate? Not quite — he wins a free bag of M&M’s

SHARE $1 million prize for inmate? Not quite — he wins a free bag of M&M’s

ST. GEORGE — Mars Inc. confirmed Wednesday that a family of four has won the grand prize of $1 million in its "M&M's Fix Up The Mix Up" Instant Win Game and not the Hurricane inmate who thought he had won, according to a statement.

Brian McCluskey, an inmate at the Purgatory Correctional Facility, thought that a bag of odd-colored M&M's he had received after doing his chores Saturday had made him the contest's grand prize winner. What he had won instead, however, was one of 1,000,000 first prizes, a free bag of M&M's.

The rules state the approximate retail value of the bag to be $2.89, or about $999,997.11 less than was originally expected.

Washington County Sheriff Kirk Smith, who originally alerted the local media to the existence of the supposed winning wrapper, said it may have been the slight discrepancies between the million-dollar wrapper and the first prize-winning wrapper that caused the oversight.

While one wrapper states, "You are an instant grand prize one million dollar winner," the other reads, "You're an instant first prize winner."

"What's a reasonable person to think when they read that? I think the wording sounds extremely interesting," Smith said. "In my personal opinion, it almost sounds like the Publishers Clearing House kind of thing."

McCluskey had refused all interview requests, which included the NBC "Today" show, radio and TV stations from Alaska, England and Canada and a Las Vegas television station, which had personnel waiting outside the jail at press time.

Smith said he believes it's the "American Underdog" mentality that is causing all the response.

"I think all of us are cheering for the underdog," Smith said. "Here's the guy who's the ultimate underdog in jail. People see him winning and think maybe it can happen to them. It develops a life of its own."