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Added January 19th, 2015 by Ian

Furniture business loses $1.5 million bet on college football game

An American company called Ashley Furniture Home Store and Better Sleep Shops recently lost a huge bet with its customers over the nation’s college football championship game and it cost them about $1.5 million in furniture. The company told fans that if the Ohio State Buckeyes could pull off a playoff win over Alabama and then beat Oregon by seven points to win crown then their furniture would be free as long as they had originally paid up to $1,999 for it.

Well, Ohio managed to beat Alabama on New Year’s Day and then upset Oregon 42-20 in the National Championship showdown and Ashley Furniture had to cough up on their deal. The bet promotion kicked off on December 17th and ran until December 30th. The company was hoping that fans would take a risk by buying $2,000 worth of furniture from them in the hopes that Ohio State won.

Customers were thought to be taking a bigger gamble than the furniture outlet since Ohio State went into the Final as the underdogs. But while the customers were just putting a couple of thousand dollars on the line, the company was in it for much more. After the game had ended it was reported that 500 customers came looking for their rebates and in total it added up to $1.5 million. This means the average refund to each customer came to $3,000.

Ashley Furniture’s bet backfired on them, but they shouldn’t feel too bad because it could have been quite a bit worse. Last year a firm in Seattle made a similar type of bet on the 2014 Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos and ended up losing approximately $7 million worth of goods when the Seahawks hammered the Broncos by the unexpected score of 43-8. Reports said that a store in Houston, Texas also ended up losing $6 million worth of merchandise on that game.

At least the furniture company managed to attract customers during the slow time of the shopping year following Christmas and was able to rack in the profits from people who didn’t spend the minimum of $1,999. However, while the customers were happy with the way things worked out and even Ashley Furniture was happy to receive the publicity over the stunt, the University of Ohio wasn’t. At appears the university wasn’t pleased that the furniture company more or less used the team in a promotional event even though they weren’t an official sponsor, meaning they didn’t pump any cash into the school’s coffers.

 
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