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Zions awards $10,000 in pennies to ultimate 'Cheapster'

Published November 20, 2012 7:51 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

University of Utah student Jennifer Hillam has been known to dumpster-dive for restaurant leftovers and use hand dryers in public restrooms to dry her hair.

So it's probably no surprise to her friends that the 21-year-old exercise physiology student won first place — and almost 3½ tons of pennies in prize money — in Zions Bank's second season of its "Cheapster" online reality show.

The pennies, 1 million of them, added up to $10,000. They were presented to Hillam at an event at The Gateway mall last week. A forklift dropped the glittering booty into a pile, and the mall's fountains spouted as her name was announced.

Starting in October, Hillam competed against 12 other frugal college students in a series of weekly challenges devised by Zions to test their money-saving skills. Her win also earned a $10,000 donation to the university.

Zions recorded the challenges. They can be viewed at http://cheapstertv.com/node/52.