Zions awards $10,000 in pennies to ultimate 'Cheapster'

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University of Utah student Jennifer Hillam has been known to dumpster-dive for restaurant leftovers and use hand dryers in public restrooms to dry her hair.

So it's probably no surprise to her friends that the 21-year-old exercise physiology student won first place — and almost 3½ tons of pennies in prize money — in Zions Bank's second season of its "Cheapster" online reality show.

The pennies, 1 million of them, added up to $10,000. They were presented to Hillam at an event at The Gateway mall last week. A forklift dropped the glittering booty into a pile, and the mall's fountains spouted as her name was announced.

Starting in October, Hillam competed against 12 other frugal college students in a series of weekly challenges devised by Zions to test their money-saving skills. Her win also earned a $10,000 donation to the university.

Zions recorded the challenges. They can be viewed at http://cheapstertv.com/node/52.