01/07/14 10:29am
01/07/2014 10:29 AM
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO |  Robert's Jewelers owner Robert Scott, snow shovel in hand, at his Southold store last Thursday morning.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Robert’s Jewelers owner Robert Scott, snow shovel in hand, at his Southold store last Thursday morning.

After days of anticipation, the results are officially in: for the first time in the 21 years Robert’s Jewelers has run its “Snowfall Madness” promotion, the Southold shop is now obliged to pay out to 153 lucky customers who correctly guessed it would snow more than three inches on Jan. 2.

“It did hit,” storeowner Robert Scott announced in a live WLNG broadcast this morning, saying he received verification from weather officials that it snowed 3.67 inches between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight on Jan 2. “We have 153 people that should be exceedingly happy at this point — I mean, exceedingly happy.”

“Snowfall Madness” makes this deal with customers: buy any piece of jewelry before the holidays and then choose from a selection of dates in late December or early January, the promotion’s rules state. If it snows three inches or more between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight on your chosen date, Mr. Scott will refund your purchase.

By Mr. Scott’s admission, customers have alternately called him both ‘stupid’ and ‘brilliant’ for coming up with the idea. But to his credit, the odds had been in the longtime local jeweler’s favor these two-plus decades, with him never having to make a single payout.

That changed Jan. 2, when eight inches of snow fell on Long Island.

“Do you know how long I’ve waited for this to happen?” he said. “Twenty-one years. And people said it was a stupid event. I’ve had nothing but phone calls.”

Mr. Scott explained he is partially insured by his insurance company and is waiting for them to send him a check before he begins making cash payouts to the 153 customers, all of whom must claim their prizes to receive any money. Payouts will begin Feb. 1 and run through Feb 15, Mr. Scott said.

While he wouldn’t disclose just how much money he needs to lay out — “It’s a lot,” he said with a chuckle — Mr. Scott did say one of the winners included a man who purchased a $7,000 engagement ring.

At the time, Mr. Scott wasn’t ready to cut any checks just yet: he explained Friday that he needed verification from Weather Command, an Illinois-based environmental and forecasting service Mr. Scott said monitors snowfall at Brookhaven National Lab in Upton.

With the snowfall confirmed, Mr. Scott said in an interview this morning he feels “exceedingly happy.”

“Now the fun begins,” he said.

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01/03/14 10:45am
01/03/2014 10:45 AM
Robert's Jewelers owner Robert Scott, snow shovel in hand, at his Southold store Thursday morning.

Robert’s Jewelers owner Robert Scott, snow shovel in hand, at his Southold store Thursday morning.

The madness still isn’t over.

After a snowfall brought eight inches — as of 7 a.m. today — to the National Weather Service monitoring station in Upton, the owner of Robert’s Jewelers in Southold said he’s not writing any “Snowfall Madness” checks to lucky customers just yet.

According to a NWS spokesman, 3.7 inches of snow fell between the hours of 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. in the area. However official measurements were not taken at 6 p.m. and midnight sharp.

In a phone call this morning, Mr. Scott explained that his insurance company must receive verification that it snowed at least three inches between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight Jan. 2 not from NWS, but from Weather Command, an Illinois-based environmental and forecasting service Mr. Scott said monitors snowfall at Brookhaven National Lab in Upton.

Due to inclement weather conditions, Brookhaven National Lab is closed today.

“We won’t know positively for at least one or two days,” Mr. Scott said of snowfall measurements. “I have the feeling we hit it, but it’s close.”

Snowfall Madness, a promotion Robert’s Jewelers has run for the past 21 years, makes this deal with customers: buy any piece of jewelry before the holidays and then choose from a selection of dates in late December or early January, the promotion’s rules state. If it snows three inches or more between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight on your chosen date, Mr. Scott will refund your purchase.

Yesterday, the longtime jeweler said at least several thousands of dollars were on the line.

“I have one gentleman who bought a $7,000 engagement ring who’s going to get his money back if it snows,” he said.

Last night, Mr. Scott said, he was glued to his television set watching weather reports.

“I stayed up till 12 o’clock and listened to every news organization that I could listen to,” he said. “And nobody could give me any definite answers as to snowfall amounts.”

Joe Picca, a NWS spokesman, said that much like Mr. Scott, he believes a payout will be coming soon after hearing about the promotion.

“Based upon what we’re seeing across most of Suffolk it looks like it met the criteria,” Mr. Picca said.

On Jan. 3, Mr. Scott said he has “mixed emotions” about the extreme likelihood he will, for the first time in the two-plus decades he has run the promotion, be obliged to refund eligible customers. But, he said, he’s excited by the prospect.

“It would be nice to pay out,” he said. “It really would.”

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01/02/14 12:47pm
01/02/2014 12:47 PM
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Robert's Jewelers owner Robert Scott, snow shovel in hand, at his Southold store Thursday morning.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Robert’s Jewelers owner Robert Scott, snow shovel in hand, at his Southold store Thursday morning.

Update: With number still unofficial, ‘madness’ continues

For the past 21 years, Robert’s Jewelers of Southold has made a deal with customers as part of its “Snowfall Madness” promotion.

Buy any piece of jewelry before the holidays and then choose from a selection of dates in late December or early January, the promotion’s rules state. If it snows three inches or more between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight on your chosen date — according to the National Weather Service’s Upton station — storeowner Robert Scott will refund your purchase.

Mr. Scott clarified on Friday that while the numbers are taken at Upton, the snowfall data must be confirmed not from NWS, but from Weather Command, an Illinois-based environmental and forecasting service Mr. Scott said monitors snowfall at Brookhaven National Lab in Upton.

By Mr. Scott’s admission, customers have alternately called him both ‘stupid’ and ‘brilliant’ for coming up with the idea. But to his credit, the odds have been in the longtime local jeweler’s favor these two-plus decades — indeed, he’s never had to make a single payout.

But now, with weather forecasters predicting up to 10 inches of snowfall for Long Island by the end of tomorrow, Mr. Scott’s lucky streak may be over.

“I’m pretty sure it’s going to hit,” he said this morning of the predicted snowfall from behind the counter of his Route 25 store. “I’m not a great weatherman, but I’ve been watching every weather forecast I can.”

If the right amount of white stuff sticks tonight, eligible customers will receive a 100 percent cash refund for their purchase, before sales tax, Mr. Scott said. As an incentive to keep shopping at Robert’s Jewelers, Mr. Scott will offer those same customers a 20 percent credit on top of their refund for a future purchase.

“What’s better than spending $100 and getting $120 back?” he said. “Valentine’s Day is coming.”

Mr. Scott said he and his staff haven’t yet counted how many customers selected Jan. 2 as their “snow date,” but can confirm there are at least several thousands of dollars on the line.

“I have one gentleman who bought a $7,000 engagement ring who’s going to get his money back if it snows,” he said.

That’s a thrilling prospect for the customer, but why would Mr. Scott take such a risk in the first place?

“I’m trying to make it a reward for you shopping with me,” he said.

Despite the interest “Snowfall Madness” drums up each year, Mr. Scott said he plans on running the promotion one last time, in 2014, before putting a stop to it.

But don’t worry: he has something up his sleeve.

“I have a new idea that’s been eating at my brain for the past eight or nine years,” Mr. Scott said. “It’s so neat. I want to keep it a definite secret because it’s going to be different.”

“People will say I’m crazy then, too,” he said. “But I enjoy it.”

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