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Casual Game Champion Wins Million-Dollar Prize

WorldWide Web Games ChampionAfter an intense 12-hour competition, Kavitha Yalavarthi of Odessa, TX emerged the champion of FUN Technologies' 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 on September 9th and will air on GSN (Game Show Network) in December 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 site, WorldWinner, or at any of FUN's partner sites including, 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."

Yalavarthi won by the narrowest of margins, defeating Amy Demerath of Green Bay, Wis. Speaking of her future plans, Yalavarthi 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."

Source: FUN Technologies Awards Million-Dollar Grand Prize to First-Ever Worldwide Web Games Champion.

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