NYC First Touch Storm Grab Going on Right Now!

NYC First Touch Storm Grab Event!
By Kevin Michaluk on 13 Nov 2008 11:44 am EST

Video and photo after the jump...check it out!

If pudding wrestling in Time Square for a BlackBerry Storm isn't something you'd normally considering doing for a free smartphone, the good news is you still have a chance to win a BlackBerry Storm in Time Square via Verizon's First Touch Storm Grab event. We made mention of it in the blogs earlier this week, but figured a friendly reminder wouldn't hurt. The photo above was actually taken by Joe who is on the scene (he emailed it in a few minutes ago when he was just 10 people away from going into the Storm chamber... haven't heard back how he did yet). The details:

  • WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008 between 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  • WHERE: Manhattan - Father Duffy Square. Located in the northern triangle of Times Square on Broadway between 46th Street and 47th Street
  • WHAT: Participants will be eligible to win a BlackBerry Storm (with a $50 Verizon Wireless gift card for activation) and Bluetooth headsets

If you're in NYC, you best be heading to Time Square. Let us know in the comments how you did!

* Update: Joe got back to us... he WON A STORM! He also sent in a clip of the NYC Storm Grab in action!!

* Another update: Carl just sent in a photo. He and his two friends waited in line for over an hour, but they each won a Storm.. back to back to back!

NYC Storm Grab Winners 

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

NYC First Touch Storm Grab Going on Right Now!


They have dummy versions that are clearly non-production.

I WON!!! My free storm will be shipped to me on the release date - totally worth going down there!

The ticket grabbing thing was tough though... A lot of people were having trouble. Best strategy was to use your feet to shuffle all the tickets into a pile in the corner before it starts. Then lean over the pile, and just swipe as many as you can into your arms and hold them there. I also reached up and pulled some off the ceiling. Not sure how many I got in the end - as soon as she said I won, I didn't care!

There is a guy in the booth where you collect your prize that has a pre-production model. I got to spend a few minutes with it.

I'm not 100% sold on the typing method, but I'll reserve final judgment for the real thing when it's released next week.

They had 3 or 4 pre-production (i.e. SLOW) units they let us play with. The typing's definitely takes some getting used to, but isn't that bad. The browser and multimedia player are AMAZING, but the rest of it isn't anything to write home about. Get this for the browser (and Rev. A),multimedia player, world edition, camera, and future promise with the Appstore. But if you don't care for that, you'll probably prefer a Curve. The price difference is only $100 (I'm within 30 day return period so no BLACKBERRY SMASH!), so I predict a lot of people will go for the Storm. And it's a great phone, but by no means does it relegate the Curve to the bargain bin.

As for the contest itself, it was pretty easy to win. If you got there in time (I got there at 5 pm, just after they closed the line), you probably had a 50/50 chance of winning a Storm, depending on how well you could concentrate and keep your cool.

Wooooohooooooooo! I won a Storm in NYC today!!! They had some pre-production units available to play with. The clickable screen is AWESOME though the software was still really slow and buggy. The only downer is that the winners have to wait over 4 weeks to get it shipped to us.

By the time I left (around 11:45am) they had given away about 20. I tried snapping some pics and videos on my trusty Pearl but between the reflection on the booth from all the lights in Times Square and the downpour of rain, the image quality is pretty poor.

Tip: Squat and scoop up as much as you can, then in the last 15 or so seconds, kick the tickets up in the air and pick them off the ceiling.

Everyone, it's well worth the try. I didn't think I had a chance but stopped by for the hell of it and me and the three guys behind me won BB STORMS!!!!. Trick of the day!! lean over and grab all the flying papers that hit your chest, don't even bother trying to pick out the black ones, just grab anything that comes your way!!!! They said 2-3 weeks to get it in th email which is a downer. One of the guys took our pic and will post later!! Get there and try!!

I got there at 9:45am and stepped into the booth at 11:45am. However, it wasn't raining when I began waiting. Now it's crappy out but who knows - you can never tell with New Yorkers :)

Hey it's worth a shot! Head down there! If you're wet, it's all the better because the tickets will stick to you ;)

with my new every 2, sounds like it will cost me $100 after the rebate. I can't see waiting in line for over 2 hours for the chance to save $100 and wait an extra couple of weeks for the phone, so i guess i'll pass. Hey, i just made it easier on the other NYers thinking of going.

its crappy out so the line might not be that long of a wait.... argh to go or not to go that is the question??/

The two guys in front of me also won Storm's. The guy in front of them won a bluetooth headset. And I think the guy in front of HIM won a Storm also.

It was a lot of fun. The anticipation as you got closer to the front of the line. Cheering on the people ahead of you. So what I was 3 hours late for work... I'm on salary and it was worth it!!!

One of my friends (another member) works less than 5 blocks away. Instead of coming over to Times Square when he was done with work this morning, he opted to go home. Sucks for him. Yay for me!!!

Soon, I'll send a picture of us three back-to-back-to-back Blackberry Storm WINNERS!!!

Darn I didn't make it out today! Blame Wayne, he had me out drinking last night, but I did drop him by you safely afterward, so I expect to get first dibs toying around with your phone when it comes. LOL NY is too small!

Hey, Carl. I think I'm one of the three (you had the brown hoody and baseball cap). Congrats again we did it!!. It was great to meet some others on line, joke and have some laughs trying to critique everyones grabbing style while we were waiting in line. Lucky we got there before the rain really hit! Good luck to all!!!

I had a great time out there. If I was thinking, I'd have video recorded our ESPN-like commentary and critiques. Dah well.

Congrats once again. But now, the waiting begins... I can't wait to get my hands on MY NEW FREE CRACKBERRY STORM!!!!!!!!!!!

I won, got there at 10am and had to wait about 2 hours in line. The nice thing is as people got closer to the tent, they let you get under the tent so you didnt get wet. It was pouring out.

I was somewhere between the 25th and 30th winner. A lot of people were having a hard time, but the best method is to grap as man possible with your right hand and keep your left arm close to your body and tuck the tickets in, about half way through you should stop grabbing at air and pick them off the walls and ceiling.

One person said they were shipping them when they become available on the 21st and other said 6-8 weeks.

Anyway it was awesome, good luck to anyone heading down to Times Square.

i could easily hop on the B or C train and go within a few stops . It's pouring out and im hearing seeing all these tips .

Ugh to go or not to go ...

When you get in the booth, look on the floor to see where the black tickets are. Try to kick them into one corner, and then huddle over the corner when they start flying up.

To get the phone, you need to grab 7 black tickets within 30 seconds. If you get 6 red tickets within 30 seconds, you get a bluetooth headset instead. That's not too bad...

I was just there and the current wait is 3-4 hours.

There is a first line where you 'register' to go up to the contest machine. The first line had about 40 people in it, with only one VZ rep registering people at 5-10 mins per person to get through that line.

Once registered you go to line 2, currently about 50 people. I timed 4 cycles (there were 3 winners) and it was 4-6 minutes per person (4 people in 20 mins went thru while I was there).

Hope that helps.

It was such a great experience. I won a storm around 12:15pm after waiting in line for 2 hours. It seemed that after a certain point a lot of people started to win and it seemed that men did better then women initially. The person before me and after me won as well. I couldn't tell how easy or hard it was, but I feel that if you developed a strategy you were bound to do better.

The hypeman was hilarious but also annoying at time because he took up a lot of time with his jokes but it was worth it to have him there. They were giving out chocolate and some Verizon people were walking around with the Storm.

Overall I enjoyed and I met some funny people and saw some unique people as well. One small thing though. I don't think we'll be getting the phone until 4 to 6 weeks after it comes out.

I got there around 9:15 this morning and was one of the first 20 or so people to go. I was busy strategizing the entire time I was in line with 2 other CB'ers. About 5 people won in front of me, and then there was a drought of winners and I was getting worried. The 2 CB'ers from NJ in front of me (sorry I never asked your name but I know one of you was Lisa) and I formulated a new strategy after speaking to some winners. Before it starts, kick all the tix into one corner and then lean your chest over the pile. Once the wind starts catch the tix with your hands and chest and pray. So the 2 CB'ers went first and low and behold, neither one of them won. I was nervous, was I going to blow this opportunity? I stepped up for my turn at about 10:30 and just did my thing. I came out of the booth after the 30 secs and the tix counter says you have won a bluetooth, I was devastated, but wait, she then says, you have won both, which do you want. Obviously I asked for the bluetooth....NOT! I got that Storm Baby!!! So happy, so worth the trip into the city, so excited!!!! Thank you Crackberry for making me aware that this even was going on!!!!

PS....who was the old guy in pink bootY shorts with 4 purses.....weird...I would love to post a picture, not sure how.....hahahaha

The guy with the booty shorts was too funny. I didn't even think he would win but he did. It seemed in general that "everyone was a winner," even in the rain. I definitely saw the two CBers but I didn't know it was them. They were 4 - 6 people ahead of me. A lot of people seemed to be cutting work, or out for an extra long "lunch break."

I don't think anyone else grabbed enough tickets to win BOTH prizes.

And a guy in pink booty shorts? With four purses? In the rain? I definitely missed that (and I'm glad I did).

Someone did grab enough prizes to win both tickets between 11am - 12pm. However, the person had to choose between the two (one of the rules is that you can't win both prizes). Of course he chose the Storm.

There were at least two Verizon employees was walking around with pre-production storms.

I am an iPhone 3g user and I have to say that I was really impressed with this handset. Screen was really nice, and they click in my opinion was not a gimick, it really works.

It will probably take some getting used to, but after a few days or weeks I think typing on the storm will be pretty easy.

There were very nice transitional animations going from menu to menu and you can flick the screen to look up and down. This was not as smooth as an iPhone, but they reminded me it wasnt the final verion of the software.

Overall it likes like a really great phone and I am very glad I won today.

It wont make me stop using my iPhone, but as a technology lover, it will make me activate this as a second line.

My friend and I are up in Riverdale, BX and it takes about 45minutes to get down to Times Square. We're debating about whether or not to go. Honest opinion, are there high chances of winning? Also what time does it end/what's the line looking like around this time?


I am getting out of work at 4:30 and can get to time square by 5.PM... do you think they will still let me get on line and have a chance to with the storm?

Matt I was there a while ago and the line was at *least* 3.5 hours (there are actually two lines) and that was before work let out. A VZ rep walking around said if people aren't in line by 3pm at the latest they would not get thru to the contest machine. Contest ends at 7pm. Each of the two lines had about a 2 hour wait when I was there.

I was the first one in line. I already won the phone in the HUNT contest but wanted to try again for my fiance. lol oh boy i didnt win!! lol but it was so much FUN!!!

I was the guy you were talking to when you got out of the booth and was asking you about if the number they called you back from for the storm hunt was a 908 number :) remember?

Well anyways I was like a few after you and I was the 3rd to win a Storm :) I cant wait to get it.

Will thanks for the heads up, we had just decided that we were going to venture down there. Saved us a long trip of disappointment.

HOLLA!!! waited 3 hours but well worth it (only if you won) - it was great to have people cheer you on the entire time and there were times when there would be 5 storm winners in a row!

this sure beats texting in those hunt clues everyday!

Just so you all know, I was down there two hours ago, and the line that everyone was seeing was NOT for the blackberry storm.. they were selling tickets to some show right next to this storm promotion.

At 3 oclock they had 45/100 Storms left, and about a 1.5 hour wait... So unless you're living in Times square, you wouldn't make it in time to the front.

I waited 3 hours in the cold freezing rain, but it was worth it.

I felt bad for my new "line friend", Brittney, in front of me who was 1 short of the 7 needed for a free BB Storm. She got a Bluetooth headset at least...

The only downside is I have to wait for it to ship on its launch instant gratification

That's me Jonathan is referring to =(
We were defintely there for more than 3 hours in that line!

I kept looking at the ceiling and sides, but I didn't see that many black cards flying around....oh well. Three people in a row won before me, and at least two people in a row won after me so I kinda felt like a loser, haha.

I didn't know I won a bluetooth headset! oops I was so cold I just left immediately after I watched you win. (sorry I peaced out without saying goodbye)

I turned it around on Craigslist for $550!!
I was able to procure one on launch day.
I kept the $50 VZW gift card though...

Hope you were able to get a hold of one!

That wasn't cool on Verizon's part...turning away people who showed up way before the scheduled end time...

Oh well, congrats to those who won!

I got down there at 4:00 after seeing it on I barley got there on time to register, and I FELT like luck was on my side! The line wasn't really that long, but boy did it move slow! I waited 2.5 hours and unfortunately, I had to leave to go back to work! :). I'm sure I would have been able to pick one up after heeding the advice of fellow CB ers. They sure had The right idea, because I saw some people use the system and it worked! I am so bummed out I couldn't stay. Hey if the two guys and girl I met on line (we were about 5 people from the end of the line after they stopped registration) read this, let me know how you made out by posting a comment. Hope you guys were lucky enough to bring one home!
Sure wish I had the chance.....I was so F*****G close!!

yeah man if you remeber a kid in a blue rain jacket with his girlfriend i had a grey hat on i was 4th from last and both me and my girlfriend won as well as everyone else in the end of the line YOU SHOULD HAVE WAITED! it was well worth!

I remember seeing you. I was the kid in the peacoat with the big white backpack. Congrats to you and your girl! Remember Passion? That guy was f*cking crazy!

So i got there at exactly 4:14pm and waited on the ridiculously slow moving line for exactly 3 hours. I was one of the last people (the 4th to last to be exact) and i won!

Im so happy. Towards 6:45pm they started to announce that there were only 10 Storms left to be won and still 15 people left and that they had to give all of them away.
But when it was my turn to get in the box, they stopped me and told me that they weren't sure if there were anymore Storms left. i was getting so mad. But they had 3 left and i won one! i cant seem to say it enough, lol.

I hope the last three guys finished the winning streak :) Thanks for the help!

So worth the 3 hours in the cold.
I hope i get it fast though, and not in 6 weeks.

where you behind me and my girlfriend and infront of those three dudes who didn't even register and still got to participate?
if you were we had some fun


Haha yea i was. And yea it was fun. I think one of them was registered, not sure about the other two lol.


Ahh good times. Thanks Verizon.

The 2 guys after you won the last 2 storms. Then they let the last guy play a "bonus round" and said if he won, they'd get him a Storm somehow. But he sucked at it and barely got the headset.

Just when I was about to go into the booth, the girl behind me and I talked about strategy. I went in and the paper started flying and I first started to panic. I said to myself "calm down" and I started picking them off the ceiling and on the sides. When I came out I had a lot but I wasn't sure if I had enough. The man said "You were an animal in there! But, I have good news. YOU WON!". I started jumping and screaming. I couldn't believe it. My verizon phone is in such bad shape and I needed a new one sooooooooo bad. Thanks Verizon. I never won anything until now.

Heres my pic with the winner's card.

What a waste of 3 hours on line.

Near the end (6:00), they only had about 10 phones left. They cleaned out the booth and only put the exact # of black tickets in there. Was kind of interesting, since somewhere between 3:45 and 5:30, almost everyone that went in the booth was a winner. Then, nobody for about 20 people straight. Hmm.

Yea this game was rigged after me and my 3 friends lost around 3 ish they noticed there wasnt enought tickets in the booth and they put 25 tickets in the booth and the next two people won and they said they couldnt do nothing for us at all even after we complained to about every employee there.

they had about 20 handsets left and they started putting in less tix and even more white tix !

ugh i was so pissed .

left with a crappy lanyard needless to say .

This was so bogus .

This event was great even though I got there at 3:30pm and didn't win my free BB Storm (Winner Number 96) till 6:30pm. The contest is actually really easy to win and here is how for all your Jersey people going next week. One, don't drink to much if you go later on in the day cause they will feed you hot coco the entire time. While in the wind chamber stand in the left back corner where there are no vent wholes on the glass (whole are where the tickets stick for you to pick) keep constantly kicking the tickets up and looking at all three corners where the wholes are and the ceiling. Guarantee to win just make sure you stand on that corner and don't drop your tickets - seven all black to win the storm and 6 black/red tickets for a free bluetooth. Good luck Jersey

Yeah, When and Wher in Jersey did u hear about this? Please let me know because this time I will make arrangements to stay on line the entire time!