Financial Health
October 16, 2014

Campus Countdown sweepstakes winner ready to go back to class

California student Michael Ramirez can afford to head back to college now, thanks to Wells Fargo’s Campus Countdown sweepstakes.

Michael Ramirez figured his college plans were on hold until he got a life-changing call: He had won the first grand prize for 2014 in Wells Fargo’s Campus Countdown sweepstakes.

He accepted the $5,000 check at Wells Fargo’s Fairfield (California) Main banking store.

The day before Michael received Wells Fargo’s prize alert, he’d dropped out of classes at Solano Community College for the fall because he couldn’t afford to attend. After learning he won, he tried to re-enroll but classes were already filled so he says he will resume his studies next spring.

“I have never won anything before,” Michael says. “There have been other things I have tried to win, but I never won.”

Fairfield Store Manager JC Humphrey presented the check to Michael, who brought along his best friend, mother, father, sister, and brother-in-law for the prize presentation.

“All of us at the entire branch are so excited that we have a local winner for a nationwide campaign, and to know the difference this will make in his education is so important,” JC says. Michael’s name was randomly chosen from students nationwide who became eligible by opening a checking account, signing up for balance alerts, using the Wells Fargo SurePaySM service, or sending an entry by mail.

Vivian Wu, Wells Fargo’s student segment manager, says the sweepstakes was part of the company’s Campus Countdown focus on financial education.

The campaign featured a lifestyle quiz students could take as they headed to campus, which assigned them a persona and customized financial education tips and resources based on the way they manage their money and lives. Campus Countdown began July 1 and ended Sept. 30.

“While they may not proactively seek financial education, we know from research that students want and need it, so our goal is to deliver financial tips and relevant resources so they can feel financially confident throughout their college journey,” Vivian says, noting that the company’s research shows financial independence and freedom for debt are students’ top financial goals.

The sweepstakes awarded three $5,000 cash prizes and 75 prizes of $250 cash, which could be used towards renters insurance. Students between the ages of 17 and 24 who were enrolled in an accredited educational institution or program were eligible. The other two $5,000 grand prize winners will be announced later this fall.