Cheating scandals hit worlds of chess, fishing, beauty


(NewsNation) — Contestant 747 was voted the fattest bear of them all for the third time in a row in the Fat Bear Week competition at Alaska’s Katmai National Park, but organizers of the online contest say hundreds of spam votes almost ruined the contest.

Contestant 747, affectionately known as “Bear Force One” by fans, won the competition, but Bear 543 Holly almost won thanks to the ballot stuffers. Holly received so many votes so quickly that vote organizers figured something was up, said Katmai National Park Ranger Keith Moore.

“The thing to remember is that all the bears are ultimately winners here,” Moore said. “It’s pretty exciting to see how fat these bears get, it’s really important for them to put on as much fat as possible before hibernation. So yeah, this was a very weird turn of events but ultimately all these bears are winners is our eyes.

Thankfully, the so-called “ballot stuffing” was caught in time for Fat Bear Week, which is more than can be said for the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship.

Jacob Runyan, 42, and 35-year-old Chase Cominsky made it to first place in the fishing tournament before judges noticed the weights in their catch.

They’re now facing several charges, including cheating and attempted grand theft.

Meanwhile, in the world of chess, 19-year-old Hans Neimann was accused of cheating in a major competition last month. Some say Neimann used software that told him the best move. While Neimann has admitted to online cheating in the past, he says he did not cheat in the match that launched the investigation.

And producers of this year’s Miss USA competition were suspended as executives look into accusations the beauty pageant was rigged. R’Bonney Gabriel, a 28-year-old participant, was crowned earlier this month. But many contestants say she had an unfair advantage by working with pageant sponsors in the past and even knew one of the judges.

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