ST. JAMES, Mo. - Today, 12 customers of Hutcheson Ford dealership in St. James received a refund check for the full price of their vehicle purchased over the weekend.
Between the customers, the dealership gave back more than $300,000 as part of a deal promised in its "Super Weekend Sale." The deal — if a customer purchased a car between January 29 and February 1 and the opening kickoff of either the first or second half of the Super Bowl game was returned for a touchdown, the customer would receive a complete purchase price refund of their vehicle.
In the second half of the game, the Seattle Seahawks' wide receiver, Percy Hawkins, returned the kick for an 87-yard touchdown.
"I started yelling at the TV, 'run, run,' as loud as I could," said Jim Carey, the new owner of a Ford F-150. His wife Mary Jane said, "I kept saying, 'Is this real? Is this real? Is this live? Is this live?"
According to Jim, Mary Jane thought he had pre-recorded a game and was trying to fool her. She was not the only one surprised. Those at the dealership received shockwaves through Facebook and telephone calls.
"We're like 'Oh, my gosh,' there's this five percent chance of this happening, and it just blew up in our faces," said Kathleen Frazier, marketing manager for the dealership.
This is not the first time Jim Carey shopped at Hutcheson Ford. The need for low mileage on a car led him to the dealership where a salesman introduced him to the promotion. Carey waited until the first day of the promotion to sign on the dotted line, joking with the man that he would be back on Monday to pick up his check.
Little did he know, Carey would be doing just that only days later.
"Then you start doubting it," Jim said. "I got the rules out and read the rules. It says an eligible receiver had to run the ball back, but I wondered, did he have to catch it, or could he pick it up off the ground like he did."
Frazier said most of the twelve winners were in disbelief.
"We had people call and they're like, 'You guys didn't mean that right?' We're like, 'No, it's happening.' They're like, 'Yeah, but they're has to be some kind of - this can't be happening you know.' One of them wasn't even aware of the promotion. So, when we called them, I think they just about dropped whatever they were drinking."
The Carey's spent $53,190 on their new Ford F-150. That large refund will be used to pay off their loan. However, Frazier said the winner's can spend their money on whatever they wish. One of the winners told Frazier they would be spending part of their money on a long vacation. Purchase prices varied from $55,000 to $10,000.
Jim, a Vietnam veteran, was diagnosed last year with a form of leukemia believed to be caused by exposure to Agent Orange. The Carey couple believes their win is a blessing.
"We like to travel a lot, and so our ideal is to just to go and enjoy life as long as we can," said Mary Jane. "I just see this as another way of God blessing us to do that."
In addition to the customers who purchased a vehicle, anyone who test drove a vehicle at the dealership during the promotion were entered into the dealership's "Super Giveaway" raffle. The winner, Dottye Wolf of Rolla, had the chance to receive a new vehicle or $25,000 equivalent cash value.
On Saturday, the 12 winners will attend a celebratory gathering at the dealership to take photos with each other and their new vehicles, now, free of charge. The dealership plans to make this promotion an annual event.