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Otis Spunkmeyer

Coupons for free products are among the most rare and sought-after – because who doesn’t like getting something for absolutely nothing? So try not to be envious of three Midwestern women, who are now in possession of thousands of free-product coupons – enough to last a lifetime.

Literally.

The three have been announced as winners of a recent Otis Spunkmeyer contest, the grand prize for which was a couponer’s dream come true – a lifetime supply of coupons for free Otis Spunkmeyer products, valued at up to $3.99 apiece, with no expiration date.

And unlike some contests, this one didn’t skimp on the definition of a “lifetime supply”. It’s not one coupon a month for 20 years or so. According to the contest rules, a “lifetime” is 80 years, minus the minimum age of entry, 18 years old. If you estimate that one box of Otis Spunkmeyer treats will last you a week, a lifetime supply comes out to be one coupon per week, for 62 years.

All of which means that each of the three winners received a huge box on their doorstep – with 3,224 free product coupons inside.

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Angela Meek of Nashville, Tennessee said she “almost dropped dead” when she found out she was one of the winners. Chloe Banks of Columbus, Ohio said she was “totally shocked” to learn that she won as well. She has two young sons, ages 5 and 8, and said she’s excited to share the lifetime supply with her kids and husband. And Ashley Johnson of Fayetteville, Arkansas has a 3-year-old child and another on the way. She said she can’t wait to be the “cool mom” who sends her kids to school with cookies every day.

The company held the contest this past spring, to promote the introduction of a new line of snacks to grocery chains across the country. “Otis Spunkmeyer cookies have been a consumer favorite for 35 years, but until recently have only been offered through our food service business,” company president Kristina Dermody said back in May. “We are thrilled to now expand our offerings to grocery chains, and also increase our line to include an array of 20 new treats so people can indulge in our favorite snacks whenever they want!”

Those new treats include snack cakes, mini muffins, cupcakes and cookies that promise “No Funky Stuff”, such as artificial flavors and colors, high fructose corn syrup, or partially hydrogenated oils.

Since the products are new to stores, the company is also relatively new to couponing – and apparently unconcerned about the open liability of having nearly 10,000 free product coupons out there, with a total face value of nearly $40,000. For those of us who didn’t win the freebies, Otis Spunkmeyer offered a more modest, but still decent, discount in the form of its first Sunday insert coupon a couple of weeks ago, offering a dollar off one of its new snack cake cartons.

Those coupons are already being offered for sale by various coupon “clipping services” online, for several dollars per set. So just imagine what would happen if sellers got a hold of thousands of coupons for free Otis Spunkmeyer products – with no expiration dates.

But selling them would violate the terms and conditions of the coupons, so it’s not advisable. And for now, the winners have given no indication that they plan to do anything with the coupons other than use them to buy treats for their families.

That’s free treats until sometime in the year 2078. By then, the winners may be sending their great-grandchildren to school with Otis Spunkmeyer treats. Let’s just hope stores are still accepting paper coupons then.

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