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Wayne White/Herald-Chronicle
Herald-Chronicle Publisher Catherine Faimon and Cindy Droege, Burlingame, confirm the winning ticket in the first of two $1,000 prizes awarded at the Chrismas on Us giveaway Saturday in Osage City.

Catherine Faimon
| Publisher

OSAGE CITY — Seven people who shopped in Osage County received extra cash totaling $2,650 Saturday morning, during the Fourth Annual Christmas on Us grand prize drawing in Osage City.

Walking away with the two $1,000 grand prizes were Jason Jendrysik, Osage City, and Cindy Harris, Burlingame, who will split the $1,000 in half and give $500 to Christi Droege, also of Burlingame. The women pooled their tickets and had decided to share the winnings prior to the drawing Saturday.

Jim Ullery, of Jim’s Garage, Scranton, drew Harris’ ticket, which was the third ticket pulled during the first $1,000 drawing. Harris had received the winning ticket from Casey’s General Store in Burlingame. She said she will likely spend part of her winnings on groceries.

“I’m shaking like a leaf!” she exclaimed, when asked how it felt to win $1,000. “This is fabulous! I am glad everyone participated.”

Jendrysik’s winning ticket, the second of the $1,000 prizes to be given away, was drawn by Willie Atchison, Osage City, owner of Ace Hardware and one of the 32 sponsors of the Christmas on Us contest. Atchison drew tickets from the hopper in last year’s contest, too, but pulled the ticket of someone in the crowd after nine other tickets had gone unclaimed. This year, he had a winner on the first try. Jendrysik’s winning ticket came from Jerry’s Thriftway.

“I’m surprised,” Jendrysik said, after claiming his prize. “I never won before.”

He plans to spend the scrip money at several of the participating businesses.

When asked what he thought of the Christmas on Us contest, he said, “This was cool to attend. I usually go out of town. I’m glad it was inside.”

An estimated 600 people gathered in the Osage City Schools auditorium Saturday morning, for a chance to win two $1,000 prizes, two $250 prizes and three $50 instant winner prizes, all in the form of scrip money which can only be spent at the 32 participating businesses. The Osage County Herald-Chronicle staff served donuts, coffee and hot chocolate to those who attended the morning giveaway.

Attendees were entertained by the Santa Fe Trail Choraliers select choir, under the direction of Lori Jarrett. They sang Christmas classics prior to the giveaway, and drew laughter from the crowd near the end of the event, when they played the theme song from “Jeopardy” using plastic kazoos.

During the four-week promotion, there were 10 $50 prizes available to give away, which required shoppers to search for their ticket numbers in advertisements found in The Herald-Chronicle. By matching their ticket numbers with those hidden in the ads, shoppers could claim $50 in scrip money at The Herald-Chronicle office by Monday each week.

Seven of the 10 instant prizes were claimed prior to Saturday’s drawing, which left three to be given away at the drawing. The grand prize drawing began by pulling tickets from the spinner for the three unclaimed $50 prizes. Tickets drawn for the $50 prizes belonged to Sherry Smith, of Osage City, Melanie Dicks-Pritchard, of Reading, and Tracy Masters, of Burlingame. Jan Ogleby, Barb Prost and Kendra Harnden, all staff at The Herald-Chronicle, drew the $50 prizes.

Smith received her winning ticket from Osage Building Materials. She thought she’d spend her prize on groceries, gas or something for herself.

Dicks-Pritchard claimed her $50 prize after her ticket was drawn. Two previous tickets went unclaimed. She received her ticket from Jerry’s Thriftway, and thought she’d spend her winnings on groceries.

The final $50 prize was claimed by Masters after eight previous tickets went unclaimed. She received her ticket from Jerry’s Thriftway, in Osage City, and was excited about purchasing “free Christmas dinner” with it.

Next, Laura Ward, manager of Casey’s General Store, Carbondale, drew a winning $250 ticket on her first attempt, held by Patrick Kuney, Carbondale. Kuney received the ticket after making a purchase at RJ’s Auction Service, one of the 32 sponsors of the contest.

“It feels pretty good,” Kuney said, when asked how it felt to win $250. “It’s a good deal.” Kuney wasn’t sure at the time what he would buy with his prize.

Ward repeated the process again for the second $250 drawing, reading off a white ticket belonging to Gail Lohmeyer, of Osage City. Lohmeyer said the winning ticket belonged to her daughter, Becky Siljenberg, who could not be at the drawing. “I will give the $250 to my daughter to spend,” Lohmeyer said. The winning ticket came from Osage Hardware, Osage City.

During this year’s contest, there were more than 107,000 tickets given away, which translates to participants spending approximately $1,070,000 for merchandise and services. The number of tickets distributed this year was down some from last year’s contest.

“This promotion encourages people to spend their money locally, and then rewards the ones that do,” said Chris Faimon, co-publisher of The Herald-Chronicle. “It also rewards the participating businesses, since the scrip money can only be spent at the businesses who sponsor it.”

Faimon said winners must spend the scrip money by March 31, 2011, and participating sponsors should return the scrip dollars to The Herald-Chronicle for reimbursement.

Two ticket holders claimed $50 instant prizes during the fourth and final week of the contest. Kris Britschge, Osage City, received her winning ticket at Feltner Floors and Furniture, Lyndon, and found the number hidden in the Jim’s Garage ad. She said she would use the prize money to buy gas and groceries.

Jim Harrelson, Osage City, received his winning ticket from T-N-T, Osage City. The ticket number was printed in the Buzzard’s Pizza ad. He said he would spend the money on Community Covenant Church items.

Three tickets were not claimed last week: a ticket from Casey’s Overbrook, hidden in the Gibson Pharmacy ad; a ticket from Osage Hardware, hidden in the Casey’s Carbondale ad; and a ticket from Trinkets ‘N Treasures, hidden in the Skip’s Thriftway ad.

Previous instant winners of $50 scrip money were: Week 1 – David Hafenstein, Al Bogren; Week 2 – Charles S. Peterson, Becky Lang; Week 3 – no winners; Week 4 – Kris Britschge, Jim Harrelson.

Sponsors for this year’s Christmas on Us were: Casey’s Burlingame, Casey’s Carbondale, Running With Scissors, Skip’s Thriftway, Casey’s Lyndon, Feltner Floors and Furniture, Lamont Hill, Lyndon Building Materials, Buzzard’s Pizza in Lyndon and Osage City, Trinkets ‘N Treasures;

Aunt Dee’s BP, Furniture Loft, Casey’s Osage City, Gibson Pharmacy, Harmon Dental, Jerry’s Thriftway, McCoy’s Radio Shack, NAPA of Osage City, Osage Building Materials, Osage Hardware, Relaxation Station, Theel Plumbing, T-N-T;

Casey’s Overbrook, O’Bryhim’s Thriftway, Wheat State Pizza, Santa Fe Trail Meats, 4-Corners Steakhouse, Casey’s Scranton, D&D Tire, Jim’s Garage, RJ’s Auction Service.

Unclaimed winning tickets

Twenty tickets drawn at the Christmas on Us grand prize drawing Saturday were not claimed. Since the winners had to be present to win, more numbers were drawn. The unclaimed tickets listed here belonged to shoppers who made purchases at the following sponsoring businesses:

$1,000 tickets*
5171825 (Casey’s Osage City)
5175687 (Casey’s Overbrook)

$50 tickets*
7155735 (Aunt Dee’s BP)
4743410 (Harmon Dental)
1167809 (O’Bryhim’s Thriftway)
9201893 (Jerry’s Thriftway)
1165639 (Skip’s Thriftway)
9204197 (Jerry’s Thriftway)
7589319 (T-N-T)
7590670 (Theel Plumbing)
6755679 (4 Corners Steakhouse)
7669966 (Osage Building Materials)

*These numbers are provided for information only. Numbers would only have won if ticket holders were present at the drawing and are no longer valid.