Skeptical Million Dollar Winner Calls H&R Block to Claim Prize Just Hours Before Deadline
Glen and Gloria Sims, Sewell, New Jersey residents, submitted acceptance paperwork to H&R Block officials on Thursday, one day before the deadline of July 6. They had been randomly selected from more than 17 million entrants in the company's promotion. The Million-Dollar Giveaway was the first national sweepstakes offered through the company's full network of services including H&R Block Tax Services, H&R Block Mortgage, H&R Block Financial Advisors, TaxCut Software by H&R Block and online services offered on www.hrblock.com .
The Sims family entered the contest by having their tax returns prepared at an H&R Block office in Turnersville, New Jersey. The couple had been coming to the office the last three years, as their tax returns had become increasingly more complex.
When first notified about winning the prize, Mr. Sims didn't believe he had actually won.
"You hear so much about companies calling requesting personal information and you feel hesitant to provide it," Mr. Sims explained about their reluctance to come forward. So when the paperwork arrived at the family home, he reviewed it, but didn't give it much additional thought. "Plus, things like this just don't happen to people like us," he added, expressing his appreciation for H&R Block's determinedness to award them the prize.
The couple, married for 10 years, said they hoped to use some of the money to take a honeymoon explaining that they had stayed close to home after their marriage. Family vacation plans are also in the works.
"Of course there are also some bills to take care of," Ms. Sims noted, adding that this influx of cash helps relieves the pressure at bill paying time. The couple plans to earmark some of the funds for their children's education as well.
"This promotion has certainly created a memorable moment at H&R Block," stated David Byers, H&R Block senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "We are ecstatic that the Sims family accepted the prize and we couldn't have asked for a happier ending."
In addition to awarding the family the $1 million annuity, Block is providing a complementary, no obligation financial consultation through H&R Block Financial Advisors who will provide options to maximize this newly claimed windfall.
"H&R Block will continue to offer big promotions like the Million Dollar Giveaway," noted Kevan Neff, H&R Block's director of consumer promotions. "It may be hard, however, to top the unusual series of events that occurred this time."
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is a diversified company with subsidiaries providing a wide range of financial products and services. In 2001, H&R Block served 19.2 million taxpayers -- more than any tax or accounting firm -- through its more than 10,400 offices located in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. H &R Block served another 2.2 million tax clients through its award-winning software program, Kiplinger TaxCut(R), and through its new online tax preparation services. Investment services and securities products are offered through H&R Block Financial Advisors, Inc., member NYSE, SIPC. H&R Block, Inc. is not a registered broker-dealer. H&R Block Mortgage Corporation and Option One Mortgage Corporation offer a full range of home mortgage products. RSM McGladrey, Inc. is a national accounting, tax and consulting firm with more than 100 offices nationwide, as well as an affiliation with 550 offices in 75 countries as the U.S. member of RSM International. Quarterly results and other information are available on the company's Web site at www.hrblock.com .
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CONTACT: Neil Getzlow, 816-932-4886, or Janine Smiley, 816-213-4312, cellular, both of H&R Block; or Emily Schroeder-Orvik of Campbell-Mithun for H&R Block, 612-267-3554, cellular