Dumpster-diving college student awarded $10,000 in pennies for winning 'Ultimate Cheapskate' award
20:00 GMT, 20 November 2012
A frugal student who has been known to dive in dumpsters for second-hand clothes and use homemade deodorant and toothpaste, was awarded $10,000 in pennies for being the 'Ultimate Cheapskate'.
Jennifer Hillam, 21, from the University of Utah, won first place in Zions Bank’s online reality show Cheapster, which tested 12 college goers on their money-saving skills.
A forklift was hired to drop Miss Hillam's glittering 3.5ton, prize fund at The Gateway mall in Salt Lake City, where she told KSL.com: 'I didn’t think that I was the cheapest, but I’m pretty bad and it's paid off.'
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Unusual prize fund: Jennifer Hillam was awarded $10,000 in pennies for being the ultimate cheapskate
Starting in October Miss Hillam, who is studying exercise physiology, had to compete in a series of weekly
challenges devised by Zions Bank.
These included selecting discount coupons that would save the most money, guessing the cost of meals, and scouring a film set for loose change.
On the hunt: Miss Hillam has been known to dive in dumpsters for second-hand clothes
What a score! Miss Hillam said she previously salvaged two brand-new shirts from a dumpster
Explaining the contest, a spokesman from the company, which is headquartered in Utah, said: 'We’re out to find the
cheapest college student, these students are known for being penny-pinchers.'
Although the tasks were important, in the end it all came down to votes and viewers could cast their verdict at the end of each episode.
Miss Hillam said that stacking up votes was the hardest part of the competition, telling The Daily Utah Chronicle: 'It was painfully miserable asking people to vote for me.
'It was humbling to see how many people from my past came out and voted for me every single day.'
Future investment: Miss Hillam's cash fund will go towards her tuition
But in the end she was announced winner. Her victory also earned a $10,000 donation to the university.
Other than dumpster diving and using homemade cosmetics, Miss Hillam also proudly uses air vents on local buses to dry her hair, freezes leftover food, and makes use of free facilities on the university campus.
She said to ABC4 News: 'I do some pretty ridiculous
things and once I started telling people about them, they kind of thought
I was a little crazy. But hey, I’ll keep doing it.'
She plans on banking her prize fund, and putting it towards tuition fees.