When Lee Tappenden got a call from his cable company telling him he’d won a free trip to Japan, he thought it was a scam.
He felt this way despite the Shaw employee’s assurance that the Edmonton father was the grand prize winner of a summer contest the company ran for anyone who ordered the movie Alita: Battle Angel.
“I was very confused because I was still sleeping and I didn’t know what was going on,” he said.
It didn’t make sense, because neither he nor his wife Amy Tappenden had ever seen the movie.
And then it clicked: the culprit was their 20-month-old son, Anthony Tappenden.
“He loves playing with the remote, and pushing buttons over and over again. And sometimes we just let him do it,” he said.
Tappenden did some investigating and the movie, a 2019 futuristic tale about a cyborg named Alita, was ordered during the day when it was just his toddler and wife at home alone.
Anthony hasn’t been able to confirm or deny making the purchase because he’s still working on his vocabulary. Whatever his motivation, the result is that his parents get to fly to Tokyo and stay in a four-star hotel for a week. The prize also includes a $500 prepaid gift card for spending money.
The couple has never been to Japan before, but Tappenden said he and Amy have daydreamed about travelling there after they’ve raised a family and retired.
Anthony will be staying at home in the care of grandparents, but his mom and dad are planning to bring back a nice souvenir for him.
The couple are still working on arranging dates for their trip.