One North Carolina jeweler found out the hard way that there’s no business like snow business.
Alan Perry bet against Mother Nature when he ran a Thanksgiving promotion at his Wilmington, N.C. jewelry store. The terms were simple – and specific: He promised to refund buyers’ money if it snowed more than three inches in Asheville, N.C. on Christmas. But thanks to a blizzard that ripped across the South, Perry’s eating his words – and $400,000.
(More on TIME.com: See photos of the December NYC blizzard.)
According to NOAA, Asheville received a record 6.5 inches on Christmas Day. Meaning Perry, owner of Perry’s Emporium in Wilmington, would be doling out some ridiculous refunds. He estimates the damage at $400,000, but he’ll only be responsible for $10,000 of that, thanks to a fortuitous insurance policy he bought.
Why did he choose Asheville, a mountain town more than 300 miles west of his store? “It rarely ever snows in December there,” he told CNN. Perry’s bet against the weather certainly made Christmas merrier for the 311 customers in on the deal. One man will see a $12,000 refund for the engagement ring he bought from Perry’s store.
(More on TIME.com: Does the holiday blizzard help prove global warming?)
Despite the cost, Perry says the attention he received from the promotion was priceless. He’s already planning to run it again next year, but with the bet on a different city. Asheville didn’t quite work in his favor.
(via CNN Money)