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The Laugh Factory and its founder Jamie Masada are being sued for allegedly not giving the winner of a 2016 Funniest Person in the World contest his grand prize.
Harith Iskander, who hails from Malaysia, was one of 89 comedians from 56 countries who competed for the 2016 title, a U.S. comedy tour and a $100,000 grand prize.
Iskander says he was approached by an agent for the comedy club to compete in the contest and told he could compete by submitting a short video. Iskander then says he was told he was one of the top 20 “vote getters” and would need to travel to Helsinki to perform. Iskander also says nearly six months after agreeing to compete he was told for the first time that the $100,000 prize would be paid in 10 installments.
Since he won the contest in December 2016, Iskander says he’s received a $1,000 payment for being one of the 20 finalists and three installments totaling $30,995.
Iskander is suing for promissory fraud, breach of contract, misleading advertising and unfair competition, among other claims. He is seeking the $70,000 balance, plus a declaration that The Laugh Factory either provide him a U.S. comedy tour or pay him the equivalent in cash. He also wants a refund of his costs of participating in the contest, which included travel, immigration fees and loss of earnings.
The Laugh Factory has not yet responded to a request for comment.
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