JACKSON, Tenn. -- It rained on July 2. It rained on July 3, and it rained on July 5 in Jackson.
But skies were clear on the Fourth of July. If it had poured, Watson Quality Ford here would have said, "We'll pick up the tab" to some new-vehicle purchasers.
The dealership promised free vehicles to those who purchased them June 24-June 26 if it rained a measurable 1 1/2 inches on Saturday. Even so, general sales manager Jimmy Viger wasn't singing "Rain, Rain, Go Away."
"I really, truly wished it would have rained. I insured it, so I wished it would have rained. We would have loved to give away those cars. I was really rooting for it to rain.
If it had rained at least 1 1/2 inches, the dealership's "Insane Let it Rain Campaign" would have paid out a whopping $236,000.
Watson Quality Ford officials had hoped the campaign would help reduce inventory. An estimated 150 people were expected to take advantage of the enticing odds -- but only about 20 people did.
One saddened buyer was sure that after the downpours prior to the Fourth, the Fourth surely would have been wet.
"I thought it would rain. I wasn't really badly disappointed, but I wish 100 times it would have rained," said Ricky Bouldin of Canton.
Bouldin purchased a 1998 Ford F150 truck from Watson Quality Ford after his wife told him about the campaign.
"I didn't know anything about it until my wife came home with this truck and told me. I hadn't planned on buying a truck until October, but I needed one, so I went ahead.
"I wish it would have rained, though, because I really don't have it in my budget to pay for it. I guess I'll have to work it in," Bouldin said of the $27,000 truck.
The dealership purchased an insurance policy to cover the cost of vehicles if indeed Jackson had gotten enough rain on the Fourth of July, Viger said.
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