Donelan Andrews of Georgia has been a teacher for 25 years. Armed with a consumer economics background, she says she always reads every contract when she buys something, and she teaches her students to do the same. When Donelan bought a travel insurance policy recently from Squaremouth, little did she know she’d entered into a top-secret contest where her passion for reading would pay off to the tune of $30,000.
Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison shopping site, launched the Pays to Read contest on February 11, 2019, with the aim of highlighting the importance of reading policy documents by rewarding the first person to find hidden text in their policy documentation within a year’s time.
Whether a winner was named or not, Squaremouth planned to donate an additional $10,000 to Reading Is Fundamental, a children’s literacy charity. Much to Squaremouth’s surprise, Donelan claimed the prize in just 23 hours.
How She Won
To find the contest winner, Squaremouth hid the contest details on the last page of its policy documentation, explaining that the first person to read through their policy and discover the contest would win the $10,000 grand prize.
When Donelan reached the hidden text, the following sentence caught her eye: “If you’ve read this far, then you are one of the very few Tin Leg customers to review all of their policy documentation.”
She says it reminded her of a test question she used to ask students to teach them the importance of reading. “I used to put a question like that midway through my exams, saying ‘If you’re reading this, skip the next question.’ Right when I saw the wording, it reminded me of that and intrigued me to keep reading,” she says.
Commitment to Schools
To honor Donelan’s commitment to her schools, Squaremouth gave an additional $5,000 to each of the schools where she teaches in Georgia – Upson-Lee High School and Lamar County High School. The money will be used to buy new textbooks and contribute to each of the school’s work-based learning programs.
Squaremouth also donated an additional $10,000 to a reading charity, in addition to the grand prize. Squaremouth said it chose Reading Is Fundamental because its mission aligns with the objective for Pays to Read. Reading Is Fundamental provides books and literacy resources to kids across the country.
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