"Congratulations, You Won!"

"Congratulations, You Won!"

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"Congratulations! You Won!" is an audio clip of a soundbite repeated by a male voice actor that has gained much online notoriety as the opening cue of autoplay pop-up advertisements of intrusive and malicious nature, which typically attempt to entice the Internet user to malware programs and scam websites by offering false promises of various prizes.


The exact origin of the ads are currently unknown. The first pop-up ads were created using a web interface developed by internet activist Ethan Zuckerman while he was employed at the web-hosting company, Tripod, in the mid 1990s.[2] On December 17th, 2008, the internet scams blog Fraudo[1] published an article titled "Congratulations You Won," which lamented a type of intrusive pop-up ad that would send viewers to the Freelotto scam website (shown below).


On May 11th, 2010, YouTuber dwightpudding uploading a video titled "Congratulations, You Won!", featuring the audio from the ad playing alongside a slideshow of various humorous images (shown below).

On November 2nd, 2011, YouTuber ostolero uploaded a clip from the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion featuring the "Congratulations! You won!" audio playing in the background (shown below, left). On October 15th, 2012, the tech news blog Neowin[5] published an article reporting that the "Congratulations, you've won" ads were the "most popular online scam." On December 28th, YouTuber Caius Abadon uploaded video of an animated GIF displaying the message "Congratulations, you won!" while the ad's audio clip repeats in the background (shown below, right).

On November 10th, 2013, Redditor puddlesofblood submitted a creepypasta story to the /r/nosleep[6] subreddit about a malicious ad titled "Congratulations! You won!" Prior to being archived, the post gained over 1,000 votes (94% upvoted). On May 12th, 2014, YouTuber VeeDees uploaded a clip of a rapidly-moving pop-up ad with the "Congratulations! You won!" audio playing in the background (shown below). On December 2nd, Steam Forums[4] member Sketch posted a thread about an auto-play ad that played the clip "Congratulations you've won a trophy." On August 27th, 2015, the mobile tech site IgoPedia[3] published a guide for removing the "Congratulations-you-won.com-yourprize.com" pop-up ad on iOS devices.

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