Shopper scores MacBook prize at Oaks Mall

T.J. Pyche
T.J. Pyche

Gainesville resident T.J. Pyche has been trying to win a prize from the Prize Vault game at Oaks Mall for years.

On Sunday, he announced that all of his efforts have finally paid off.

Pyche, 26, said he plays the game every time he goes to the mall.

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“I’ll put a dollar in or $5 when you use a card,” he said, and estimated that he has spent about $50 so far trying to secure a MacBook Air valued at over $900.

“We always joke that if you win, you don’t get anything,” Pyche said on Sunday after winning the prize.

The game requires the perfect line up of a key device to the slot on the prize you are trying to secure.

Pyche said he spent eight years trying different strategies before finding the right one. 

“You move it over and rise it and insert it into a keyhole and if it goes through, you win,” he said. “You choose the level at which you release the key.”

Pyche said that upon matching the key, a box dropped out of the machine, and he posed for a photo with it.

A notice on the machine tells winners to text a photo of them holding the prize to a phone number from Wisconsin.

On Monday, Pyche got a response from the company stating that he can choose to have a computer or the cash value, which the company will notify him of Monday afternoon.

“I then have to decide if I want the money or the item,” he said.

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