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Robert's Jewelers Gives Valentine To Community

160 lucky customers received a windfall in a yearly contest.

A January snowfall meant a happy Valentine's Day for 160 Robert's Jewelers customers who won big in an annual contest — and hit the jackpot with money back this week.

The recent snow day meant a big payday for 160 customers of Robert's Jewelers in Southold who, for the first time in 20 years, won the popular Midnight Madness contest.

The annual contest at Robert's Jewelers has become a well-loved tradition for customers; but over the past years, Bob Scott, owner of Robert’s Jewelers , has been a difficult man to beat.

Scott has been holding the contest to guess the date of snowfall at his jewelry store in the Feather Hill Shopping Center on Route 25 in Southold for 21 years, but no one ever won — until last month.

And on Jan. 2, with snow falling, scores of customers felt their hopes rising.

Scott promised the big payout would come around Valentine's Day, and on Tuesday, he said winners have been tricking in all week to pick up their moola.

According to the contest rules, whoever made a purchase from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve received a voucher, and got to choose whether they thought it would snow on Dec. 31, Jan. 1, 2, or 3. If it snowed three inches or more between 6 p.m. and midnight, the customer would receive the entire cost of their purchase back, except for sales tax.

And that's just what happened on Jan. 2 for the lucky winning customers.

Scott said he does not disclose exactly how much the big win ended up costing. "But it's a lot," he laughed.

Customers have been coming in slowly; he reminded them that Friday, Valentine's Day at 5 p.m., is the last chance for customers to pick up their winnings.

Of those that have come in, about 50 percent have turned around and spent their winnings in the store, either for Valentine's Day or purchases they might not have been able to make before — a win-win for all.

"It's working out well," Scott said.

Reflecting on the contest, Scott said at first, as he put together the paperwork and large amount of money involved, he let himself "go down to zero," saying to himself, "Oh, poor Bob, it's gone," he said. "You have to go through those stages. I'm in the acceptance stage right now."

And, he said, of his scores of satisfied customers, "I'm happy."

The contest, he said, will run again in December of this year, only if it snows again on those dates — but then, he will bid farewell to the yearly event.

Instead, he's in the stages of trying to put together a new event that he began thinking about 23 years ago, but would give no clues as to the details — customers will have to just wait and see what surprises he has in store.

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