Maryland furniture chain Gardiner's Furniture offered its customers what seemed like a long shot deal: If the Ravens returned either the opening kickoff or the second half-opening kickoff for a touchdown, then any purchase they made in the store between Jan. 31 and 3 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday would be free.
As it turned out, the long shot paid off for shoppers, and the chain will issue refunds of about $600,000, giving Ravens fans who bought furniture during the promotional period two things to celebrate.
Fortunately, neither store will be getting sacked financially as a result of their kickoff return bet. Businesses that offer such long-shot promotions typically take out insurance policies to protect themselves: Gardiner's owner Greg Mullaney told his local Fox affiliate that he bought a policy from Lloyd's of London, and Baillio's also protected itself with insurance.
"It was $100,000 worth of coverage, and we spent it all," Baillio's president Rob Kujath told KRQE News.
We can't exactly blame either store (or their insurance companies) for taking the gamble: According to ESPN, it was just the ninth time in Super Bowl history that a kickoff has been returned for a touchdown.
Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.