I’m sure you read or heard somewhere that billions of dollars in scholarship money goes unclaimed every year. Reportedly all students need do is apply and they could earn thousands of dollars for college. As it turns out this is not true and there really aren’t a ton of scholarships waiting for some high school senior, ANY high school senior to just show up and claim it.
I wish I was lying, but as it turns out most scholarship committees receive far more applicants than they have funding to reward. As sad as this news is there is still hope for those of us who believe that our mere presence warrants prizes.
Remember last week when I was roaming Chicago just trying to find a friend to hang out with me? Well my search was successful. Actually, thanks to the aforementioned blog post, the world’s greatest former roommate saw my distress signal and invited me to join her for
food poisoning dinner at Chipotle before the evening’s deadline to finish the task for the Debt Free Diva’s Capital One Café Savings Scavenger Hunt. I didn’t win the daily prize but I did top the points leaderboard.
And stay on top I did, all week. Whether the task was answering a question about podcast titles or taking a picture of how I save money on my commute to work, I was on it. I even suppressed the urge to Grubhub and instead made chocolate chip cookies to complete the cook a meal at home assignment. And yes, cookies are a meal.
By the end of the week, I was in a three way tie for first going into the finale event at the Capital One Cafe. Although it was tempting, I did not allow the comfort of my bed or the onset of Chicago winter to keep me indoors all morning. Frigid mornings are why God invented Apple Bottom jeans and boots with the fur. I put on mine and trekked via public transportation up north to battle to the death for the grand prize.
Thanks to CTA’s inane bus schedule (and not the fact that I left the house at 11:10 for an 11:30 event thirty minutes away), I arrived nearly twenty minutes after the advertised start time. But the Debt Free Divas know how their melanated audience and time get along and planned for the event to really begin at noon. They also served Chick-Fil-A.
It turns out that even being tardy to the party I was still the first person to arrive. I chopped it up with the Divas and Kate from Capital One and kept one eye on the door, hoping to scope out my competition. If I was on CPT then they were on some other shit because noon came and went with no new arrivals.
“Well, it looks like it’s just you, so we’re going to go ahead and get started,” the Divas announced. After making sure that relatives of the sponsoring organization were ineligible to win, I settled in to hear Kate from Capital One tell us all about the services their cafes have to offer. Additional scavenger hunt tasks were interspersed through the presentation. I heard that one contestant spent fifteen minutes lecturing cafe ambassadors about the Capital One Quicksilver’s decent earn rate but basura reward redemption value. However, I can neither confirm nor deny those rumors.
The last challenge took a group effort to solve as three adults and 4 children searched the cafe top to bottom trying to find the right word or phrase to complete a limerick that rhymes with ice (spoiler alert: the answer is debt free life). My final point tally put me in a tie for first with one of the Diva’s daughters and given the rules governing conflicts of interest, I was declared the grand prize winner.
I’m sure as shit not selling blood plasma this year to buy Christmas gifts.
And making victory even sweeter, was an untouched platter of Chick-Fil-A nuggets. No I did not take the platter home. I’m not so hard up for free food that I’m going to carry an entire platter of nugs home on the bus.
I filled two Ziplock bags and put them in my purse instead. Who says you have to do more than just show up in order to win?
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