As the clocked toward the event's scheduled time - 2:29 p.m. - people shouting "Make it rain!" and "Give me my money!" trampled one another and mobbed the costumed representatives of CashTomato.com
Some people wrested bags of cash-stuffed envelopes and other items from the CashTomato workers, said Jason Buzi, who identified himself as the company's senior vice president.
The prize givers weren't the only ones who were overwhelmed.
"Before I knew it, I was on the floor" and under a pile of people, said Anabel DeJesus, 17. She left without any prize. "It's not worth it."
Police didn't have any information Saturday on whether anyone was injured or arrested.
Buzi said CashTomato has staged relatively uneventful giveaways in other cities, and he was startled by the Manhattan mayhem.
"It turned out to be a lot of aggressive people," he said. "Maybe next time, I would plan this better."