MEGADETH and the band's official web site, Megadeth.com, hold an annual Christmas card contest where the top ten winners all win a prize, and the first-place winner receives a phone call on Christmas Day from MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine, along with other prizes. This year, the winner allegedly submitted the artwork of another artist.A posting on Megadeth.com reads: "Although we were notified of the possible plagiarism by an anonymous fan in Brazil after the Christmas Day call was already placed, we are investigating this matter further. We stand by the fact that [the chosen winner] is innocent until proven guilty, and if our winner did indeed use someone else's artwork, we will be notifying the second-place winner to award him the first place prize and he will receive a phone call from Dave Mustaine. We hope to clear this up as quick as possible." To see the winning artwork and what appears to be the original 2009 piece it is taken from, follow the links below. * Winning artwork
* Original piece that the winning artwork was allegedly taken from Before the alleged fraud was uncovered, Mustaine had the following to say regarding the winning artwork: "The reason that I picked this card over the others: "Text: Some were funny, some were serious, and some were just simple text or bad clichés. I preferred both the classic and the funny, but there is only so much room for a funny Christmas card; although I have picked funny ones in the past. This year I leaned more toward the traditional 'Christmas' cards, since there is so much ridiculous disputing whether a 'Christmas tree' should be called a Christmas tree or a holiday tree — the idiot who came up with that is the mayor in Rhode Island, I believe. "Style: some were obviously cut-and-pasted, some were hand-drawn, and some were done in applications. It is unfair for the contest entrants that have no resources to expensive programs like AI, Photoshop, etc., and it is equally unfair for a normal Droogie with the desire to enter this contest to go up against someone who is a graphic artist. Having said that, one of the top ten was obviously a rendition of Charlie Brown and was an illustration, but I ended up going with the entry that had the horses and the outdoor winter scene. "The call: The winner and I talked for about 5 or more minutes and we discussed several things, like music, art, politics, and future designs for MEGADETH. Our winner lives in Greece and it is no secret that the corruption of the officials in Greece (it's just as bad here in the U.S.) has led to terrible financial death for the beautiful people of Greece. We talked about the taxes are destroying the hopes and dreams of people all around the world, and how the world bankers are behind it all, and that they are using puppets to run our world governments and doing their bidding. We also discussed when we were going back to Greece, doing future artwork for MEGADETH (which I didn't rule out, but we are very happy with John Lorenzi and we are planning on using a picture for the new cover anyway). "Hanging up: I asked our winner if there was anything else that he wanted to ask me and we talked for a few more minutes, we wished each other a merry Christmas, and then we hung up. "I enjoyed this year’s Christmas card contest, and I really enjoyed talking to our winner. I can't wait for next year's contest to see what you creative Droogs will come up with next!"