Sega held a competition for fan artwork of Sonic characters. The top twenty of the US, Europe and Japan were placed in the game for display and their artists would win a free copy of the game

However, one of the winning entries submitted by Antonino Miniero was discovered to actually be a replica of a piece of fan art by artist Mega777. Miniero was disqualified by Sega of Europe and did not receive a copy of the game.

Miniero later issued a full apology on the Sonic Italia message boards stating:
"I thought they would have turned to websites to check for any malpractice. When I found out I won, I cannot deny the fact that I was happy, but having won with that picture I was also afraid of such a reaction.
All this is absolutely not an excuse to justify my actions, I know I have been wrong and I take all the responsibility for what I did, accepting any decision made by SEGA and SonicItalia.
I want to apologize to all those who were offended by this, especially with the “21st” winner, it is my fault they did not win.
I officially apologize to MEGA777 for having soiled her masterpiece. I respect her very much, and for the fact that I had acted against her, albeit unintentionally, I feel deplorable."
Contributed by SkyminHAZBOZ
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