A Moncton truck driver is suing the makers of the "America's Funniest Home Videos" TV show, claiming they discriminate against Canadians and thwarted his chances at winning a $100,000 (U.S.) grand prize.
In his home video, which won $10,000 the first time it aired, 51-year-old Jim Nowlan is dressed as Santa Claus and wakes his young granddaughter, whose eyes bulge out upon seeing St. Nick.
The father of two and his family were invited to appear on the show to compete for the grand prize, to be awarded by Internet voters.
But it wasn't until they booked time off work, flew to California and got ready to go on the air that they realized Canadians were not allowed to vote, which Nowlan said put him at a huge disadvantage.
In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Nowlan claims he was misled about the rules so he would appear with his family for the show's taping, which "would increase the excitement of the viewing audience and in turn would increase the popularity of the show and its revenues."
The lawsuit claims the production company discriminates against Canadian contestants and gives Americans an unfair advantage.
The allegations have not been proven in court.
"I thought, if you were going to have that rule you should have at least told us, and they didn't tell us nothing," Nowlan said from his Moncton home.
"I'm not asking for anything I'm not entitled to. Basically, I'm going after them because what they did was wrong. You can't turn around and lie to somebody to get them to go down there and cheat them out of a prize."
The lawsuit does not disclose how much Nowlan is seeking.