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Zions Bank Press Release

Zions Bank Awards its “Ultimate Cheapster” $10,000

Utah State Student Lori Thompson Masters the Art of Frugality to Win Internet Reality Series

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah; Dec. 20, 2011 — Today, Zions Bank awarded Utah State University student Lori Thompson $10,000 for winning its Cheapster Internet reality series, which launched in October 2011 at Thompson competed against nine other contestants in seven extreme budgeting challenges to win the “Ultimate Cheapster” title.

Zions Bank hosted a finale party today for Zions Bank employees, local press and the public with an exclusive view of the final Cheapster episode before it premiered online. Rob Brough, Zions Bank executive vice president, presented Lori with $10,000 in one-dollar bills, which was immediately deposited into her Zions Bank Student Checking account.

“From dumpster diving to walking the runway in thrift store fashions, each Cheapster contestant demonstrated superior money-management skills, along with creativity, throughout the competition,” said Brough. “Being a Cheapster means securing the best deal and also searching for the best value. Lori was the master of both techniques and is a well-deserved recipient of the Cheapster grand prize.”

Thompson was one of three contestants in the final Cheapster episode. She received the winning vote from Cheapster judges and past contestants who were brought back in a surprise twist during the seventh challenge.

“Being frugal is a reality that college students face every day, but the key to being prepared for life's unknown challenges is effectively budgeting your money,” said Thompson, who is originally from Duchesne, Utah. “I've always enjoyed finding deals and getting the best bang for my buck, and Cheapster really put my penny-pinching talents to the test. My winnings will be a huge help in pursuing my future career in physical therapy.”

Cheapster episodes can be viewed at For more information on Cheapster, contact Ashley Murray at 801-499-7334 or To schedule interviews, contact Heidi Prokop at 801-844-7915.

About Cheapster

Cheapster is a new Internet reality series presented by Zions Bank that follows 10 young adults ages 18-28 from Utah and Idaho as they compete to scrimp and save their way to big winnings. Cheapster distributed 20,000 packages of ramen noodles to local college campuses in a grassroots effort to inform college students of the upcoming reality series. From the hundreds of submissions received, eight Cheapster cast members were chosen by a panel of judges from regional casting calls and the final two contestants were chosen by popularity vote on Facebook. Each Cheapster episode features specific budgeting challenges, during which cast members complete thrifty tasks with predetermined funds using a Zions Bank debit card. Judges score contestants on creativity and frugality based on the amount of money remaining at the end of each challenge. After each round, the lowest scoring participant is eliminated but keeps the money they saved while completing each challenge. The final winner will walk away with the grand prize of $10,000 and the “Ultimate Cheapster” title. Additional information is available at and @Cheapstertv or by visiting

About Zions Bank

Zions Bank, a division of ZB, N.A., operates 122 full-service financial centers throughout Utah and Idaho. In addition to offering a wide range of traditional banking services, Zions Bank is also a leader in small business lending and has consistently ranked as the No. 1 lender of U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) loans in Utah for the past 23 years and Idaho’s Boise District for the past 15 years. Founded in 1873, Zions Bank has been serving the communities of the Intermountain West for more than 140 years. Additional information is available at


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This page was last modified on Thu Oct 19 14:18:38 MDT 2017