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Phone Company Workers Disciplined In Radio Contest Scheme

December 11, 1985

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ South Central Bell employees used a secret emergency telephone number to win money in a radio station contest while other callers were on hold, officials say.

The phone company has disciplined a manager and other employees, and taken measures to prevent ″further abuse″ of the phone system, Pepper English, a spokeswoman for South Central Bell, said Tuesday.

The incidents occurred Sept. 26 and Oct. 3 during WRKA-FM’s Kentuckiana Lottery promotion, station general manager Mike Kirtner said. In the game, callers who have lottery tickets with the correct first two numbers can win $103 to $2,000.

Phone company workers used a number assigned to WKRA that is normally used in weather emergencies, Kirtner said. They were able to get through to disc jockeys while other lines were tied up.

The station was not able to figure exactly how much the phone company employees won, but Kirtner said it was less than $2,000.

A contestant ″upset somebody would cheat″ told the station about the phone company workers, and WRKA called South Central Bell, Kitner said.

English refused to say how many people were involved. They were not required to return their winnings.

All radio station is being asked this week to change their emergency numbers to prevent their misuse, she said.

South Central Bell’s 4,500 employees have been reminded about the importance of keeping certain information secret, English said.

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