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December 5, 2008



No, I insist: You go first.

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From Madison, Wis., comes word that radio station WMAD-FM's giveaway contest is over ... finally. To the relief of all involved, it ended just in time for Thanksgiving, and there may not be another like it for a long time. If you haven't heard, the prize was a shiny new $30,000 pickup truck for whoever in a field of eight entrants could outlast the others by sitting in it at a local Ford dealer's showroom. Contestant No. 1 lasted six days. Two more gave up over the next 48 hours and the fourth quit a week later. By Day 28, only Lisa Thompson and Tommy Kempfer remained. But they were still there on Day 38 as well as Day 48, existing on snacks, a 15-minute break every three hours, and occasional chats with customers and the station's on-air personalities. Eventually, to try to force an early conclusion, a cover was placed over the front windshield so they couldn't see out anymore. It didn't help. At Day 55, it was WMAD whose patience was near an end. "We sensed," said morning cohost John Flint, "that these two were not going to back down." So they were offered a choice: Each could accept a $10,000 voucher toward the purchase of a new vehicle, a trip for two to Las Vegas, and a $1,000 high-tech mattress on which to catch up on much-needed sleep. Otherwise, they'd have to keep going and the winner would get the truck, but the loser would receive nothing. Both opted for the gift pack and went home happy. No word, however, on whether anyone else wants that truck now.

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