UPDATE: After missing out on $1 million, Karen Kuldys racks up the consolation prizes
The Canadian Football League is offering season tickets, a trip to the Grey Cup and a year's worth of free groceries to a fan after she narrowly missed out on a million dollar prize.
Winnipeg resident Karen Kuldys was automatically entered into a contest that would award her with $1 million if two touchdowns were scored on kick returns during a game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Thursday.
Two were scored, but a flag for an illegal block in the back by Toronto's Llevi Noel negated the second touchdown.
CFL fans took to Twitter, starting the hashtag #WhatAboutKaren, to complain that the referees had made a bad call.
"It was a very tough call made by our official last night, one that could have gone either way," CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie, who has been in the job less than a week, said Friday in a release. "There are tough calls made all the time in our game because these are world-class athletes, moving at tremendous speeds, and we ask our officials to make difficult judgement calls in the blink of an eye, and we have to respect their decisions."
As a consolation, Sobeys and the CFL offered the free groceries, Blue Bombers season tickets and a family trip to this year's Grey Cup in Ottawa.
Another sponsor of the contest, Air Miles, tweeted it was giving Kuldys 500,000 miles, worth almost $50,000.
Kuldys also won a home entertainment system worth $25,000 as part of the contest for the first kick return touchdown.
"We all feel for Karen and what she must have gone through last night, and what she must still be feeling today," said Ambrosie. "I was in Winnipeg for the game and I spoke with her today."
A phone message left at Kuldys's home wasn't immediately returned Friday.
There was one other consolation prize for the Winnipeg football fan, the Blue Bombers beat the Argonauts 33-25.