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‘Smoked by Windows Phone’ loser turned winner auctions prizes for charity

Samsung Galaxy Nexus user Sahas Katta found himself thrust into the technology news cycle recently after he allegedly smoked a Windows Phone but was denied his prize. Katta took part in a Microsoft contest that asked users of Android phones, iPhones or any other smartphone to compete against a Microsoft store employee with a Windows Phone in one of several challenges. When Katta won his challenge by upstaging a Windows Phone with his Galaxy Nexus, Microsoft store employees are said to have cheated him out of his prize. Read on for more.

Katta wrote about the ordeal on his personal blog, and the story quickly spread across dozens of tech blogs. When Microsoft’s Ben Rudolph caught wind of the story, he quickly offered to discuss the situation with Katta and “make things right.” Within a day of his first attempt to contact Katta, the issue appears to have been resolved.

“I exchanged emails with Ben regarding the matter earlier today and learned that a laptop and phone were aside for me at the Santa Clara Microsoft Store,” Katta wrote on his blog. “I dropped by this evening and after spending a few minutes chatting with two rather extremely friendly store managers, I walked out with a $1,049 Hunger Games Special Edition HP Folio 13 and a $899 Nokia Lumia 800 Bundle.”

The California native says that he recently purchased a new HP laptop and he’s happy with his current smartphone, so he is auctioning off his prizes instead of keeping them. As Reddit played a big role in making Katta’s story heard, he plans to donate 100% of the proceeds from his auctions to a charity of Reddit’s choosing.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.