Three Bell Aliant employees received more than they bargained for after winning a popular radio contest in Halifax.

An internal investigation is underway to determine if they jumped ahead in C100’s call queue for its Beat the Bank contest.

The contest airs on the station five times each weekday during which time successful callers push their luck with a chance of winning up to $50,000.

Once the DJ announces that the contest has begun, the 25th caller to the C100 contest line is selected to compete live on-air.

It is not clear what, if any, technology was used to jump ahead in the call queue.

Bell Aliant declined a request for an interview but the company issued a release about the matter just before 4 p.m. Thursday:

“It was brought to our attention by concerned employees that three employees were jumping ahead in the call queue for the Beat the Bank Contest on C100,” said the company in a statement. “We moved very quickly to alert C100 and to put a fix in place to avoid this happening for their contests in the future.”

The company said it is taking the issue very seriously and an internal investigation is underway.

It also said the three employees – a man and two women – were suspended with pay and sent home on Wednesday.

“We take a lot of pride in the integrity of our people and our network and we are thankful that our employees were concerned enough to bring this to our attention,” it said.

C100 also declined a request for an interview but released a statement just after 4 p.m., confirming three contest winners are under investigation by Bell Aliant.

“Once brought to our attention, our contest call-in system was reviewed immediately. We remain confident in the security of the system and can ensure our listeners "Beat the Bank" and similar contests are completely fair for all,” said the radio station in a statement.

“We hold the integrity of our contests to the highest degree. As a result, we are withholding the final winnings of these individuals pending the outcome of the investigation by Bell Aliant.”

A post on a Facebook page belonging to one of the employees refers to winning $750 in late August.

CTV News contacted one of the employees through a friend, but she was told by her union not to speak to media.

Halifax Regional Police say, at this point, they have not received any complaints about the matter.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Jayson Baxter


Note: C100 is owned by CTV News’ parent company, Bell Media. Bell Aliant is controlled, but not owned by, Bell Canada.