24 Lithia customers pray for white Christmas
The snow dances at two dozen households should be starting any day now.
If an inch of snow falls at the Medford airport between 7 a.m. and — p.m. on Christmas Day, 24 customers who bought cars and trucks from Lithia Motors' Dodge dealership stand to get one heck of a present: If the snow comes, the monthly auto payments go -- all of them.
As a promotional ploy from Nov. 27 to Dec. 6, Lithia Dodge offered to pay the auto loan of everyone who bought a new or used auto, as long as it snowed an inch on Christmas Day. The dealership also gave people the chance to enter a drawing for $25,000 in cash -- again, if it snows an inch.
It hasn't snowed an inch on Christmas Day at the Medford airport since at least 1919, when the National Weather Service began keeping records. The closest snowfall came in 1964, when 0.7 of an inch fell -- and that was for the whole day, not in a five-hour stretch.
But things have been looking up for hopeful car owners, what with two surprise snowstorms already this month -- including one Dec. 5, the last day the deal was offered.
The latest forecasts do call for snow in Medford -- on Christmas Eve.
By Christmas Day, it looks like it's going to be rain here, says Ryan Standler, a weather service forecaster at the airport.
The cold spell isn't exactly sending chills through Lithia's accounting department, although the 24 customers and one drawing winner stand to make around $600,000 if the snow comes. Lithia bought insurance specifically to cover the weather-related promotion.
We hope it snows, says Sid DeBoer, Lithia Motors' chief executive officer. We'll have a lot of happy customers.