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Fun Technologies Awards Million-Dollar Grand Prize to First-Ever Worldwide Web Games Champion
Kavitha Yalavarthi Outplays 70 of the World's Best Casual Game Players at the Inaugural Competition in Hollywood on September 9th
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After an intense 12-hour competition, Kavitha Yalavarthi of Odessa, TX emerged the champion of FUN Technologies' (TSX: FUN)(AIM: FUN) first-ever WorldWide Web Games (W3Games) and winner of the million-dollar grand prize. Yalavarthi outlasted 70 of the world's top casual gamers, who made the trip to Hollywood for a chance to be named the "World's Best Casual Gamer."
The head-to-head event, hosted by Todd Newton ("WHAMMY", "Game$how Marathon," "Made in the USA"), and produced by Base Camp Films, took place yesterday and will air on GSN on December 3, 2006. The competition consisted of six rounds of strategic game play in three of the most popular casual games, Bejeweled 2, Solitaire and Zuma. Gaining top rankings early on, Yalavarthi established herself as the competitor to beat.
Yalavarthi, an aspiring law student and honors graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, got her start playing casual games by challenging her mother to friendly competitions online. She plans to use her winnings to purchase her first home with her new fiance, who accompanied her to the competition.
Shortly after winning the million-dollar prize, Yalavarthi woke her parents with a late-night call to break the news. "Mom, Dad, you know those casual games that I play online?" Yalavarthi asked. "Well, they're not so casual anymore. I just won the $1 million grand prize."
Each participant in the W3Games qualified by playing online tournaments at FUN Technologies' casual games sites, WorldWinner and SkillJam, or at any of FUN's partner sites including GSN.com, MSN Games and Real Networks. The 71 contestants, ranging in age from 20 to 63, represented six countries and 22 U.S. states.
"Yesterday's competition elevated skill games to a new level," said Lorne Abony, CEO, FUN Technologies. "For the first time, online casual gamers faced off in a live event that culminated with the largest prize ever awarded in a skill games championship."
Yavarthi won by the narrowest of margins, defeating Amy Demerath of Green Bay, Wis. Speaking of her future plans, Yavarthi commented, "I just got engaged two weeks ago. I have no idea what I'm going to do next. Life is unbelievable. Life is good."
About FUN Technologies
FUN Technologies is one of the world's leading online and interactive casual games providers. FUN's strategy is to provide its cutting-edge gaming systems to top distribution partners around the world. FUN is 51% owned by Liberty Media Corporation (NYSE: L, LMCB) and FUN's common shares are listed on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange under the symbol "FUN".
About FUN Games
FUN Technologies' FUN Games division, comprised of its wholly owned subsidiaries SkillJam, WorldWinner and Octopi, develops and distributes casual games solutions with a focus on free play and cash competitions across online, mobile and iTV platforms. Its broad network of partner sites includes leading global brands, such as AOL Games, EA-Pogo, GSN, Lycos, MSN Games, Real Networks and Virgin Games. FUN Games hosts ten million tournaments and awards millions of dollars in prizes every month.
GSN, the Network for Games, is the only U.S. television network dedicated to game-related programming. The network features game shows, reality series, documentaries and casino games. As the industry leader in interactivity, GSN has allowed viewers to play-along with on-air programming via their computers and GSN.com since 2000. Now reaching more than 60 million Nielsen homes, GSN is distributed in the U.S. through all major cable systems and satellite providers. The network is jointly owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Liberty Media Corporation. For further media information, visit GSN's press website at corp.gsn.com.
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