Hy-Vee customer wins $2,500

Published 10:15 am Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas came to Mary Ann and Delphin Mueller a little bit early this year.

The couple was surprised Monday at their northwest Austin home by an entourage made up of Hy-Vee staff and local media. With a 10-minute time limit, the staff assisted Mary Ann and Delphin in searching high and low in cabinets, cupboards, downstairs and in the refrigerator for Hy-Vee products.

For each one the Muellers had, up to 25, they were $100 richer.

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They had more than 50.

“I’m never really lucky,” Mary Ann said. “I’ll save it for a rainy day. Thank you very much.”

Mary Ann was a winner in Hy-Vee’s “Holiday Brands for Grands” competition.

The contest is held annually by Hy-Vees corporate wide, where customers simply register at their local store. A dozen weekly winners are then chosen at random, one per region, with the final drawing Dec. 16.

“I’d sleep with it under my bed,” said Todd Hepler, store manager, about the money.

One by one the products were laid on the table, surrounding Mary Ann’s snowman candy dish.

“Christmas is my favorite time of year,” Mary Ann said,” who collects snowmen and Santa Clauses.

You name it they had it, from chicken broth to powdered sugar to cream cheese.

The Muellers shop at Hy-Vee often, and Delphin used to work there. Just Monday morning, Mary Ann picked up colored sugar to make cookies.

“This is unbelievable,” she said. “I won’t sleep tonight.”

The Muellers are planning a trip in 2010 to Germany and Austria, and Delphin suggested some of the money might be used for that.

Hepler said only about a third of Hy-Vee stores get chosen every year to select a winner from their store as it goes by region. He said the last time the Austin store had a winner was three years ago.

“You are the type of folks who are the reason Hy-Vee has succeeded,” Hepler said to the Muellers.

“It’s great, fantastic, unbelievable,” Delphin said.