Pepsi's Big Mistake & the Murder of Skylar Neese

Apr 01, 10:30 AM
It was the early 90s, and Pepsi needed to make a name for itself in the Philippines. So they came up with a brilliant idea. They dubbed it Number Fever. Under the bottle cap of each Pepsi product, consumers would find a number. If they were lucky, that number would earn them extra cash. The typical reward was roughly 100 pesos. But if a Pepsi drinker was especially lucky, they could win one million pesos. People all over the country played the game. They were eager for a shot at the life changing money. Then, Pepsi announced that night’s winning number 349. There was just one problem. For some strange reason, a lot of people had that number. 

Then Kristin tells us about the murder of Skylar Neese. In the summer of 2012, Skylar was sixteen years old. She’d just gotten home from a shift at Wendy’s when her friends Rachel Shoaf and Sheila Eddy asked her to come hang out. Skylar wasn’t so sure. It was late. She’d have to sneak out of her family’s apartment. Plus, she and Rachel and Sheila had been on the outs lately. She wasn’t eager to hang out with them. But they kept pressing her. Eventually, Skylar gave in. 

And now for a note about our process. For each episode, Kristin reads a bunch of articles, then spits them back out in her very limited vocabulary. Brandi copies and pastes from the best sources on the web. And sometimes Wikipedia. (No shade, Wikipedia. We love you.) We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the real experts who covered these cases.

In this episode, Kristin pulled from:
“Trial by Twitter” by Holly Millea for Elle magazine
“Unfriended” episode of 20/20

In this episode, Brandi pulled from:
“Pepsi’s “Number Fever” in the Philippines caused street riots, deaths, and 14 years of lawsuit” by Tijana Radeska, The Vintage News
“The Computer Error That Led to a Country Declaring War on Pepsi” by Jake Rossen, Mental Floss
“That Time Pepsi Accidentally Promised Hundreds of Thousands of People $40,000 Each” by Karl Smallwood,
“Philippines: Court clears Pepsi on promo fiasco”
“SC decides in finality on 'Pepsi 349' case” by Rene U. Borromeo, The Philippine Star