Anthem Playing Toilet Seat Among Finalists in Sears Funniest Returned Gift Contest

Winner of $5,000 Sears Gift Card to Be Selected Dec. 12 in Downtown Chicago Event Hosted By Comedian Wayne Brady

A red, white and blue toilet seat that plays the national anthem, a flip calendar good for only six more days and hair clippers for a bald man are among the five finalists in the Sears "World's Funniest Gift You Returned" contest.

The winner, who will take home a $5,000 Sears Gift Card, will be chosen at 11 a.m., Dec. 12 during a Chicago finals event hosted by Wayne Brady, star of The Wayne Brady Show and Whose Line Is It Anyway? The finals, which are free and open to the public, will be held at the Sears on State store, at the corner of State and Madison streets.

Gift-giving expert Lucy Pereda, host of the Hispanic hit television show En Casa de Lucy, and a panel of judges will select the contest champion based on originality, creativity and humor.

The national contest is the centerpiece of the Sears Gift Card campaign to help shoppers step out of the return line this holiday season. Giving Sears Gift Cards as presents ensures that no matter if those on your holiday list are dreaming of Craftsman tools or Roller Sneakers, they'll be able to choose their own perfect gift at any local Sears store across the country.

Designed to be a fun way to celebrate the holidays, the campaign also has an important charity component. Sears is donating $1 for every contest entry received to the American Red Cross.

The Finalists

The finalists, who were chosen based on originality, creativity and humor, are:

  -- Elli Chandler, Brooklyn, NY: After Elli's husband hurt his back, she
     went shopping for a soft toilet seat to aid his comfort.  The only one
     she could find was red, white and blue.  As her husband sat down on the
     new seat it started playing the national anthem.  He didn't know
     whether to stand or remain seated.

  -- Tami Thornton, South Jordan, Utah: Through a party gift exchange,
     Tami's husband received a tear-off flip calendar that Tami thought was
     a nice present.  However, upon returning home they realized that the
     calendar, clearly off the clearance rack, was for the current year --
     so it was only good for six more days.

  -- Steven Hawkins, Irving, Texas: Steven always had long hair growing up,
     and his aunt relentlessly pestered him to cut it.  Last Christmas,
     Steven's aunt sent him hair clippers, complete with combs and
     attachments, in hopes of him chopping his long hair.  The only problem:
     by then Steven had gone completely bald.

  -- Kim Combs, Oceanside, OR:  Kim received a pair of slippers one holiday,
     but noticed they were both marked with an "L" on the bottom.  She
     returned them thinking that she had received two left slippers, only to
     be informed by a clerk that  "L" stood for "large" not "left."

  -- Denise Orloski, Mentor, Ohio: Denise attended her husband's holiday
     party and just wanted to make it through the night without embarrassing
     herself.  The gift opening started and everyone unwrapped cute,
     politically correct gifts.  While opening up her gift, her husband
     blurted out, "Ring my chimes."  To her shock, she found a sheer pair of
     thong undies.

  Holiday Shopping Tips

Along with judging the contest, Pereda has teamed with Sears to create 10 holiday shopping tips for shoppers to remain sane this holiday season and not appear in next year's contest.

Her tips include shopping online; shopping during off-peak hours and giving gift cards; buying with the gift recipient's tastes, loves and hobbies in mind; and thinking outside the box when it comes to wrapping and cards.

Sears Gift Cards

Sears is a major player in the $32 billion gift card and gift certificate industry. Giving Sears Gift Cards as presents is quick, convenient and ensures shoppers will give the perfect holiday gift. No matter what friends and family are dreaming of this holiday season, a Sears Gift Card allows them to choose what they truly want. Sears Gift Cards are available in $5 increments up to $500. They can be purchased in stores, online at or by calling 1-866-MY-SEARS (1-866-697-3277).


Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) is a leading retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and services, with annual revenue of more than $40 billion. The company serves families in the U.S. through Sears stores nationwide, including approximately 860 full-line stores. Sears also offers a wide variety of merchandise and services through its Web site, .


SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Contact: Tori Jenner of Edelman Worldwide for Sears, Roebuck and Co.,
+1-312-297-7506, , or Lee Antonio of Sears,
Roebuck and Co., +1-847-286-5569,


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