Self-Proclaimed "Nerd" Wins $10,000 After Discovering Hidden Contest In Insurance Contract

Self-proclaimed nerd Donelan Andrews of Thomaston, Georgia won $10,000 after discovering a hidden contest in the often-ignored fine print of a travel insurance contract bought from Tin Leg, a subsidiary of Florida-based Squaremouth. 

"If you've read this far, then you are one of the very few Tin Leg customers to review all of their policy documentation," the fine print read. "We estimate that less than 1 percent of travelers that purchase a travel insurance policy actually read all of their policy information — and we’re working to change that."

To Andrews - the first person to win the hidden contest out of 73 policies sent out a day earlier, reading the fine print comes naturally. 

"I always read all the fine print," according to the Washington Post, which noted that her college major was consumer economics. "I know I sound like a nerd, but I learned to read contracts so you don’t get taken advantage of." 

According to Andrews, her friends and family aren't surprised. 

"Most of the comments from people who know me have been, ‘that doesn’t surprise me at all, you’re that kind of person," she said. "Particularly in my family, I’m the one who gets things straight."

The contest reminded the 59-year-old Andrews of an old trick she's used on her high school students. 

She thought back to the days when she used to write high school tests, and she’d sneak in a bonus for students who carefully read the instructions. For example, the fourth sentence of test instructions would say something like: Circle the number 10 three times for 10 extra points. -Washington Post

"About a third of the class would read it and the rest would get mad," she said. "The lesson they learned is they need to read the directions."

The day after Andrews discovered the contest on Feb. 12 and emailed Squaremouth, a company representative contacted An and said she'd won $10,000. 

"It was my lucky day

In addition to the $10,000 Andrews won, Squaremouth donated an additional $20,000; $5,000 to each of the Georgia schools she works for, and $10,000 to children's literacy charity "Reading Is Fundamental."