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Plano Furniture Store Owner's Passion for Hometown Chicago Bears Costs Him $300,000

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The odds were clearly in World Furniture Mall owner, Randy Gonigam's, favor when the Chicago Bears took the field on Sunday against their arch rivals, the Green Bay Packers. But as the game went on, he was torn between his love for the Bears, and the fact that he was staring down the barrel of a $300,000.00 loss if the Bears did what was, by all odds, highly unlikely -- shutout the Packers in the season opener. When it was all over, with the score 26 - 0, Mr. Gonigam knew it was time to face the music and make arrangements to cough up the money, in the form of refunds, to his customers. It all began when Gonigam, a lifelong Chicago Bears football fan, came up with the idea to promote his Plano furniture store. "I was looking for a way to create some excitement -- both for my business, and for the Bears game opener. Looks like I got a bit more excitement than I bargained for." Gonigam sent a mailer out to his customers for a Labor Day weekend sale, in which he stated that if the Bears shut out the Packers in the season opener, everyone who made a purchase at his store that weekend would receive their furniture for free. "People were pretty excited about the prospect of free furniture and it was a hot topic with our customers all weekend", Gonigam said, "but I don't think anyone really thought that it'd ever really happen. It's kind of like playing the lottery", he continued, "you may play faithfully, but you never really expect anyone you know to hit the jackpot -- let alone you!" Gonigam predicted that this week is going to be a "crazy" one, with all those customers who made purchases at World Furniture Mall during the Labor Day weekend promotion calling and making arrangements for their refunds. "It's going to be a lot of fun seeing the expressions of everyone's faces as I hand them their money back. I don't think they'll really believe it until they actually have the money in their hands. I know I wouldn't." "Obviously, personally, I'm over the shock at this point," Gonigam said. "But I have to admit my head was really spinning during those last few minutes of the game on Sunday when it became apparent it would actually happen." When asked if he'd ever do anything this risky again, Gonigam replied "Well, I guess I'll have to think about that. Who are the Bears playing next week?" Perhaps we'll just have to stay tuned. World Furniture Mall is an independently owned full-line furniture store located in Plano, Illinois and features one of the largest showrooms in the Greater Chicagoland Area.

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