(UPDATE)Taco Bell’s Unlock The Box Promo Loop Hole Fixed


Taco Bell is currently holding an ongoing contest giving away the new PlayStation Vita “every 15 minutes” as the advertisement boast. The contest barely started two weeks ago and it’s already under scrutiny. A facebook group has been formed regarding this developing story and gaming site Kotaku first reported of the events.

An anonymous source by the name of “BuzzLightyear” contacted me via email stating he found a “loop hole” in Taco Bell’s Unlock The Box website a couple of days after the contest started.

“When I first visited the site, I noticed it was purely HTML based meaning the URL can just be repeatedly used over and over. So I went out and paid my friend who works at Taco Bell to grab me a couple of codes. It did not take long for me to win one…”

He goes on to write in the email..

“I simply saved the URL extension of the winners pages and text messaged it to a friend of mine in a different state to see if it will load.. and guess what.. it did. Filling up the submission form and clicking SUBMIT only gave us errors, but when we entered a used code, it somehow validated the SUBMIT button and it submitted easily.”

I asked him why he decided to email me about this information and he simply replied.

Taco Bell’s Unlock The Box Promo has Game Boy Level Security and they underestimate the gaming community.

I’ve been trying to reach out to Taco Bell and Ventura Associates to get their comments. To add more to the mystery, anything relevant to the Vita or promotion is being deleted off of Taco Bell’s Facebook wall almost immediately also calling the contest hotline yields a full mailbox.

Based on my research, upon winning a prize, the contest administrator Ventura Associates takes about 2-3 days to verify your winning. Apparently winners are being left in the dark with no responses from the contest sponsors. The only official word from Taco Bell is this wall post:

Have you won anything before through fast food promotions? let us know about your experience in the comments section below.

[UPDATE] Just got a phone call from Ventura Associates. They informed me that the discrepancy has been fixed and any attempts to undermine the operation of the website will be investigated. They have a database of the valid winners and will only be contacting those verified winners.
[UPDATE #2] According to the group that created this page on facebook, Ventura Associates, finally sent out emails informing them that they are not valid winners. A couple of people in the facebook group expressed dismay as you can clearly see in an exchange via text message entry for example that one of the members received a message informing them they have won. A week later now the person is verified as a none winner?? a big WTF is now in effect.

TB TB@sweepspros.com

2:25 PM (1 hour ago)

to XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

February 13, 2012

We have received your inquiry and determined that you are not a valid winner. This was determined by checking the information (i.e. code, email address, cell phone, name, etc.) you gave us with your inquiry to the data in our system’s records.

Please note that ANY ATTEMPT TO UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS PROMOTION AND SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FOR SUCH ACTIONS TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.
The decisions of the judges are final.

(UDATE 3)
Well look’s like Taco Bell finally put out a press release. More like a COOKIE CUTTER response to the events as of late. See the whole FAQ here.


Written by: PAUL FIERCE - News Contributor


  1. #1 by Pedro on February 13th, 2012 [ 39949 Points ]

    This is kind of F’d up… why the hell did they think people wouldn’t try to break the contest?

  2. #2 by Isli on February 13th, 2012 [ 45935 Points ]

    What I can’t understand is why Foo didn’t get us all free PSVitas ):<

  3. #3 by Kane112 on February 13th, 2012 [ 34232 Points ]

    damn thats bloody messed up… silly taco bell

  4. #4 by EdEN on February 13th, 2012 [ 142681 Points ]

    @Pedro: Because they trust us! The URL should have been dynamic right from the start, but a LOT of people tried to take advantage of this. Good on Taco Bell to at least come clean about how the cheaters are getting nothing.

  5. #5 by Darklurkr23 on February 13th, 2012 [ 23156 Points ]

    damn and I bought one and didn’t win! The taco was a taco, the burrito was ass, and the CHuplalalpa was amazing

  6. #6 by mowmow on February 13th, 2012 [ 12580 Points ]

    the was a similar problem with ign prime a few month ago when a using a link and changing some digits, gave you bf 3 , mw3 and acr and other games for pc. Any kinda big giveaway, there will be plenty of people that try to abuse it. On that note i wish i had a taco bell around me so i could at least try to win =/

  7. #7 by EdEN on February 14th, 2012 [ 142681 Points ]

    @Dakrlurkr23: That sounded like you wanted to say “Chalupa” hehehe.

  8. #8 by Skott on February 14th, 2012 [ 1380 Points ]

    This will more than likely make Sony aware of how big of a pain in the ass it is to try a contest and give away their products. I could see maybe trying it once and if it worked, tell your friends and brag like crazy, instead of telling everyone then being threatened by criminal action. Sigh.

  9. #9 by xxtankxx1031 on February 14th, 2012 [ 110 Points ]

    Cheaters are getting nothing??? How about the people who bought the box entered the code were sent to the winning webpage and are now being refused the grand prize? I am one of the hundreds of people who actually won the prize, without cheating, and is being refused his prize because of some technicality at Taco Bell. Thanks for nothing

  10. #10 by EdEN on February 14th, 2012 [ 142681 Points ]

    @xxtankxx1031: Yep, I’ve heard about such a scenario. Something is definitely wrong with the promo. Physical tickets (you know, from giveaways back in the day) made it easier to avoid all of these problems.

  11. #11 by wolfkin on February 14th, 2012 [ 6633 Points ]

    i don’t understand why cheaters getting nothing is a big deal. They cheated. I’m just glad they aren’t permabanned from the competition or something crazy.

    Now if REAL winners getting denied that’d be a story and it looks like @xxtankxx1031 is one of those and THAT sucks.


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