Who Won The Big Prizes In The IHG Priceless Surprises Promotion?

As most of you probably recall, Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) ran an interesting and fun promotion over the winter called Priceless Surprises. The idea was that you would earn one game entry each time you stayed at an IHG property, each of which would entitle you to play an online game to earn various prizes. Most of us, of course, used the alternate form of entry where you could mail in an index card instead of actually putting our head in a bed.

And then we pushed the damn button on the elevator. Over. And. Over. And. Over. Again.

I very much enjoyed this promotion, or at least I enjoyed getting a lot of cheap points for myself, my wife, my parents, and Tiffany and her husband. Like most folks, we picked up between 50,000 and 55,000 points per person, which was pretty much as expected.

But there were also some really awesome big prizes available including a million IHG points, a home theater system, some big gift cards, or trips to Paris and New York. Since this was more or less a sweepstakes, IHG and their fulfillment company, Hello World, were committed to providing a list of the winners for the big prizes.

So who won?

May this be the last time you ever see this picture again….

Winner’s List Posted!

At long last, the winners have been announced. They are posted by first name and last initial, along with the city and state. You can access a larger version directly from Hello World, through I’ve listed the winners below for convenience:

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 7.04.02 AM

Congrats to the big winners! I am both jealous of you all and thankful that I don’t have to pay the tax bill on some of these prizes  — the Paris trip was valued at over $23,000! Holy cow.

Interestingly, the one million IHG point package had an approximate retail value of $5,000, meaning that IHG values their points at $0.005 or a half cent each, precisely the same as we do here at OMAATHow often do Ben and a hotel chain (or airline) publicly agree on the value of their points? 

priceless surprises contest page
Maybe next year….

Bottom Line

Even though nobody on our team cracked the winners board, I’m quite happy with how we did. I know there are a few folks still trying to convince IHG and Hello World to pony up, but for the most part, I think they did a surprisingly good job with this promotion. I hope they run something like it again next winter.

So how many names do you recognize? Certainly we’ve got a few OMAAT readers on the list, right?


  1. I’m still trying to get IHG to pony up for 91 plays on wife’s account (strangely they credited three). The made up reasons for denial are boggling. Fingers crossed :).

  2. I won 3 grand prizes from 3 airlines within 12 months (Oct 2014 – Sep 2015)–economy/premium economy flights for 2 and hotel nights from airberlin, All Nippon Airways and Lufthansa. As a DL PM, I got to try non-SkyTeam airlines. No cheating here–photo contests and pure luck on sweepstakes. I only had to pay flight taxes on ANA and then federal tax on the overall prizes since the ANA sweepstake was sponsored by their NYC office. No tax at all on AB and LH as their contests were global and sponsored by the German offices. But the taxes and other expenses were still worth it as the two German prizes included special / historical events. I probably should write my own travel blogs about these. I’ve also won other small prizes from EVA, Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo, Swiss Air, Austrian Airlines…etc. Mostly Star Alliance airlines. Maybe I should jump ship from ST to *A.

  3. Was on a flyertalk DO in Chicago and found out my friend William won the french package which is just a small world. He mentioned the taxes he has to pay for the reward; ouch!

  4. I was one of the Arnold Palmer winners; it was an amazing trip…made even more amazing due to the fact that I won by writing in notecards. Everyone there was in awe at my craziness! 🙂

  5. I also won an Arnold Palmer Invitational trip to Orlando and since the $5000 cash prize would have been eaten up by exorbitant taxes, and the fact that Orlando is a lame destination, I passed on the trip.

    New city tag line: Orlando, the American consumer sinkhole!

  6. Thanks Paul for reminding us all EXACTLY what we’re dealing with 97% of the time when courting a normal american household consumer.

  7. No big winners in Michigan this time, oh well maybe next time! I received 48,000 points from sending in notecards, and every single point was credited to my account. You won’t hear me complaining.

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