The bet Gardiners Furniture, a Baltimore-based furniture chain, made with its fellow hometown fans of the Baltimore Ravens ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl seemed like a long shot.
If the Ravens returned the opening kickoff of either half for a touchdown during Sunday's Super Bowl, then all furniture customers bought between Jan. 31 and 3 p.m. the day of the game would be free.
The odds, experts say, of a player returning a kick for a touchdown are about 300 to 1, and, before Sunday, it hadn't happened in nearly 50 years.
The first half of the game, all was calm. But when the San Francisco 49ers kicked off to start the game's second half, the furniture buyers got a thrill.
Ravens' star Jacoby Jones returned the kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown, prompting the store to give away a reported $600,000 in furnishings.
"Within seconds my phone was ringing," said store co-owner, Gary Mullaney. "Nobody was more surprised than I was when the second half opened and Jacoby Jones runs the kickoff for a touchdown."
This year was the third year the store has run the promotion, and the year they took out an insurance policy to help cover the costs, just in case, the store's advertising and marketing manager told the Baltimore Sun.
For customer Tom Carter, no matter the odds, he came to the store to collect.
Carter and his wife purchased a box spring over the weekend after hearing about the deal. On Sunday they watched the game, and on Monday they came in to pick up their $763.18 refund.
"I was screaming so loud you could probably hear me screaming around the city of Baltimore," said Carter, noting he and his wife planned to name their now-free box spring, "Jacoby."
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Baltimore Ravens
- Jacoby Jones