After years of constantly reading the fine print of documents, Donelan Andrews' meticulous work finally paid off

By Joelle Goldstein
March 07, 2019 07:35 PM
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Reading the fine print may seem like a mundane task but it was certainly worth it for one Georgia schoolteacher.

For years, Donelan Andrews has been telling her students to read the fine print of every document they’re given — whether its something as simple as an exam or more complex like an insurance policy.

And now, Andrews has evidence to back up her argument, as she was recently rewarded $10,000 by an insurance company for reading her contract extra carefully.

While planning for an upcoming trip to England with her friends, Andrews, 59, opted to purchase a travel insurance package in the event that she would have to cancel, The Washington Post reported.

As she read through the documents from Tin Leg (a subsidiary of Florida company Squaremouth), the Thomaston native noticed something unusual written in the fine print on the seventh page.

The “Pays to Read” contract — hidden on the last page of the policy — explained that the first person to read through everything and discover the contest would win a $10,000 grand prize, Squaremouth said.

“If you’ve read this far, then you are one of the very few Tin Leg customers to review all of their policy documentation,” the text read, adding that the person must email Squaremouth and mention the contest to win the money.

After immediately sending her email, Andrews thought back to the tests she would often give her students in which she stressed the importance of reading every word on an important document.

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“I used to put a question like that midway through my exams, saying, ‘If you’re reading this, skip the next question.’ Right when I saw the wording, it reminded me of that and intrigued me to keep reading,” she told Squaremouth.

Andrews ultimately won the $10,000 prize, after 23 hours and 73 other policies passed by. As a consumer economics major in college, Andrews said reading the fine print came as second-nature to her.

“I always read all the fine print,” she told The Washington Post. “I know I sound like a nerd, but I learned to read contracts so you don’t get taken advantage of.”

And what she had to do to win the grand prize certainly didn’t come as shock to those who knew her, either.

“Most of the comments from people who know me have been, ‘That doesn’t surprise me at all, you’re that kind of person,'” Andrews said. “Particularly in my family, I’m the one who gets things straight.”

With the money, Andrews plans to splurge on a trip to Scotland with her husband to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary, USA Today reported.

Squaremouth, meanwhile, donated an additional $5,000 to both of the Georgia schools Andrews teaches at — Upson-Lee High School and Lamar County High School.

According to the company, the money will go to each of the school’s work-based learning programs, as well as help purchase new textbooks for the students.

Squaremouth also plans to donate an additional $10,000 to children’s reading charity Reading Is Fundamental because of their similar mission with Pays to Read.