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PITTSBURGH -- Green is definitely good for Giant Eagle customer Paul McCormick, who won $500,000 in the Healthy Choice "Green is Good/Giant Eagle Pigskin Challenge," which aired during the nationally televised Pitt vs. Notre Dame football game played here in Heinz Field on Labor Day weekend.
McCormick won the half-million-dollar purse during the first half-quarter break, by successfully throwing the football 25 yards through a 20-inch target. He later made a live appearance on ESPN2's "Cold Pizza" segment last Friday.
The Healthy Choice/Giant Eagle Pigskin Challenge promotion was available to customers who purchased participating Healthy Choice products with a Giant Eagle Advantage Card Aug. 4 to Aug. 17 at nearly 90 participating western Pennsylvania Giant Eagle supermarkets.
McCormick's family won four tickets to the game, a pregame dinner, a travel stipend, a minimum of $1,000 in Giant Eagle gift cards, and the chance to throw for the grand prize.
McCormick and his son, Colin, were escorted to the playing field for the promotion, and Paul was allowed one chance to win a half-million dollars. If he had missed, he would have moved up to the 10-yard line to toss for "Free Groceries for a Year" prize from Giant Eagle. It wasn't necessary.
McCormick noted that his family eats Healthy Choice novelty ice cream, and that his wife, Susan, enjoys the brand's frozen meals.
"We are always looking for promotions that provide our customers with once-in-a-lifetime-type opportunities, and the Healthy Choice Pigskin Challenge is definitely a one-of-a-kind promotion that generates a lot of excitement for our customers and Pitt football fans alike," said Giant Eagle spokesman Rob Borella. "Providing the McCormick family with the grand prize of $500,000 is a great feeling and win-win for all those who managed the program and witnessed the winning throw first-hand Saturday night."
The Healthy Choice Pigskin Challenge is a consumer sweepstakes promotion linked to exclusive retail supermarket partners in select college football rivalry markets. In its fifth season, the program was developed for ConAgra Foods by Signature Sports Group (SSG) and has featured 29 contests since its inception during the 2001 college football season.
"The Healthy Choice Pigskin Challenge is a great way for us to reward the people who purchase and enjoy Healthy Choice and allows us to work closely with our retail partners on an exciting promotion," said Bill Partyka, v.p., Healthy Choice marketing for ConAgra Foods. "We were so thrilled to have a loyal Healthy Choice consumer like Mr. McCormick and his family win a half-million dollars. Now that's a healthy sum that can be put to good use."
There are seven more games on the Healthy Choice Pigskin Challenge schedule this season throughout the United States, including North Carolina vs. NC State (Harris Teeter), Sept. 24; Michigan vs. Michigan State (Meijer), Oct. 1; Washington vs. Oregon (Safeway), Oct. 15; UCLA vs. Arizona (Safeway), Nov. 5; Florida State vs. Clemson (Bi-Lo), Nov. 12; Cal vs. Stanford (Safeway), Nov. 19; and UCLA vs. USC (Ralphs), Dec. 3.