Chicago Snow Costs Jeweler $151,000
Chicago jeweler Rich Bennett tried to drum up business during the Christmas season by promising that the holiday bling would be free if it snowed more than 3 inches by noon on New Year's Day.
The flakes started falling this morning and the National Weather Service measured the accumulations at noon to be 3.7 inches at O'Hare Airport - a declaration that will cost Bennett $151,000.
Bennett insists he is delighted to lose the gamble. He and his wife Peggy, owners of PK Bennett Jewelers, are even throwing a champagne party for the customers.
"Of course I would love to be able to throw a party and hand back cash to all my customers," Bennett told ABC News.
Bennett moved his shop two doors to a larger show room on Oct. 1. "We wanted to think of something we could do that would be fun and give back to our customers," Bennett said.
"This year was the best year ever and we just had the best Christmas season ever," he said.
So he launched his gamble. "If it snows, it's free," reads the banner on P.K. Bennett Jeweler's homepage. The offer was good for anyone who bought jewelry between Black Friday and Christmas day.
He said 224 people opted for the promotion and one man who knew he would be buying an engagement ring down the road decided to purchase a gift card first to double his money and get an even nicer ring.
For one reason or another seven people decided to stay out of it, even though there was zero risk on their part.
"Some were worried that we were going to be writing the check and said, 'You're going to go broke,' then where am I going to go?" Bennett quoted one customer.
Engagement rings and anniversary bands were the big sellers. One of the most popular sales was an opal diamond ring coming in at $7,700 he said.
"It's been a lot of fun and it's generated a lot of excitement amongst our customers this holiday season," Bennett said.