Hundreds of dollars stuffed in ValPak's coupon-filled envelopes are going in the trash because customers think the checks are fake. Valpak says not so fast, the checks are real.
The company announced in December that it would begin inserting $100 checks in its blue ValPak envelopes nationwide in honor of the company's 50th anniversary. Its $100 Instant Win program began in 1988 in select markets, but has expanded to include all 150 markets in 47 states across the U.S. in 2018.
The unexpected bonus will show up in random envelopes each month this year. The chances of winning is about 1 in 50,000, the St. Petersburg, Florida-based company said. ValPak says customers can now "make easy money" in addition to saving money with coupons.
Lie Jensen, owner of the ValPak franchise in Grand Rapids, Michigan, told NBC affiliate WZZM that out of 36 checks mailed out in her market in 2017, only seven were cashed. It was not immediately clear how many checks have gone unclaimed so far this year since the company has expanded the Instant Win program.
Jensen said the next set of coupons goes out between April 7 and 10. She said lucky customers who find a $100 check in their envelope can just take it to any bank, sign the back and get it cashed.
"There's no catch," Jensen added. "None. We don't collect any info. It goes right into your account or pocket right then."
According to a ValPak spokewoman, local ValPak franchises send mailers based on carrier routes. If a household does not currently receive ValPak, it is because that address is not in a route where the local office is currently mailing. Visit Valpak.com or submit a request to have your address added by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your complete mailing address.