- Darren Rovell, ESPN.com Sports Business reporter
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Jet Chevrolet, a car dealership in Federal Way, Wash., located 25 miles south of Seattle, had a promotion that if the Seahawks shut out the Giants, 12 people would split $420,000 equally.
"This is crazy," said Jim Johnson, one of the owners of the dealership. "We never expected that we'd actually be giving away the money."
Luckily for Johnson, the company took out insurance, which he said cost about $7,000.
Johnson originally wanted to do the shutout promotion last week when the Seahawks played the San Francisco 49ers, but he said working out the rules to make sure the giveaway was legal and in accordance with state regulations pushed it back a week.
One thing Jet Chevrolet had to do was open the contest, which ran from Wednesday to Saturday, to anyone -- even those who didn't buy a car. Those who entered the contest and didn't purchase a car received one entry, while those who bought a car, which could cost as low as $1,000 and up to $60,000, received 100 entries.
Jet Chevrolet ran its ads on local sports radio affiliates and in the local paper, the News Tribune based in Tacoma. Johnson said 20 people bought cars in the four-day promotion period and received 100 entries each into the drawing, which will take place Monday. Twelve people entered the drawing without a buying a car, so they received one entry each.
Reached Sunday night, Johnson said he still doesn't know how the dealership will actually work the drawing and was waiting on guidance from the insurance company.
"We're a car dealership, we're not used to doing something like this," Johnson said.
NFL shutout giveaways are popular.
In 2011, a Kia dealership in Medina, Ohio, offered buyers a free car if the Cleveland Browns shut out the Pittsburgh Steelers that week. The Steelers won 13-9. Earlier this year, a Colorado-based appliance company put $1 million worth of refrigerators, dishwashers and mattresses on the line if the Denver Broncos could shut out the Oakland Raiders. The Broncos won, but the Raiders scored 21 points.
One of the last times the shutout promotion actually came to fruition was in 2006, when World Furniture Mall in Plano, Ill., gave away about $300,000 worth of furniture because it promised to cover consumer purchases up to $10,000 each made during the season-opening weekend if the Chicago Bears shut out the Green Bay Packers, which they did to the tune of 26-0. One of the costliest came in October 1999, when the Kansas City Chiefs' shutout of the San Diego Chargers resulted in electronic retailer BrandsMart giving away $425,000 worth of items.
Although the Seahawks are one of the best teams in the league and the Giants are one of the worst, the odds of a shutout were still slim. The Seahawks' last shutout came in Week 14 last season, when they beat the Arizona Cardinals 58-0. The last time the Giants were shut out at home in the regular season was Week 1 of the 1995 season, when they lost to the Dallas Cowboys 35-0.
The scoreboard on the Jet Chevrolet ad had Seattle beating New York 24-0. The dealership was off by one point.
22hMel Kiper Jr.
2dEric D. Williams