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CNN Today

Proof is in Pudding For Man Looking to Gain Frequent Flier Miles

Aired January 26, 2000 - 2:55 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Frequent flier miles have become the currency of choice among promotional giveaways. And for one California man, the proof, Lou, is in the pudding.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Boy, that was well said, Natalie.

Tim Herrera (ph) of our affiliate KCRA in Sacramento, California has this story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TIM HERRERA, KCRA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thanks to a lot of double chocolate fudge pudding -- a lot of it -- David Phillips' family is going on a European vacation. A Healthy Choice promotion caught David's eye inside this Woodland grocery outlet store.

DAVID PHILLIPS, FREQUENT FLIER: And it said for every 10 products that you bought and mailed in the UPCs they would send me 500 miles in frequent flier certificates.

HERRERA: He kept going back for more pudding.

TERRY LARSON, GROCERY STORE OUTLET: After several times of reordering four or five cases, he kept cleaning us out. And I said, well, how much would you like? And I actually was able to buy him -- to order him a full pallet.

HERRERA: Forty-eight cases of pudding, $1,700 worth, but it wasn't enough to satisfy David's hunger for frequent flyer miles. He logged onto the Grocery Outlet Web page to find other store locations. While taking his mother-in-law home to Fresno, he hit every grocery outlet he could find.

(on camera): Did anybody at some point look at you and say you're nuts?

PHILLIPS: Oh, yes. My wife thought I was nuts. She -- we had a lot of discussions before I took $3,000 out of the bank to buy 12,000 cups of pudding, believe me.

HERRERA: He spent $3,140 on pudding and 900 cans of soup. He gained a 1 million frequent miles. Charities like the Salvation Army benefited from the pudding pilgrimage. LARRY HOSTETLER, SALVATION ARMY: And certainly it's a wonderful result for us, although the chocolate pudding over the course of several months, we did get start to get some questions as to when are we going to get a different flavor.

HERRERA: David says he is proud of his quirky accomplishment and he says the moral of the story is, read the fine print.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: I think he found his calling.

WATERS: Yes, I guess so. That was Tim Herrera of our Sacramento affiliate KCRA.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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