Business Owner Shares How Everyone At Her Company Makes $73,000 Per Year, Including Her

I’m sure we’ve all heard of those contests where you win something in a “lifetime supply”, right. A lifetime supply of Rice Krispies.
I’m sure we’ve all heard of those contests where you win something in a “lifetime supply”, right? A lifetime supply of Rice Krispies! or soda! or whatever! You’d be right to wonder — wait a second, what does that actually mean?

And usually, there’s some fine text that determines exactly what a “lifetime supply” of any given product or service means… but not always.

u/LordFrieza8789 recently posted to Reddit wondering “Redditors who have actually won a “lifetime” supply of something, what was the supply you won and how long did it actually last?” so let’s check in with these winners.

1. The vet

18 years ago we won a lifetime of vet visits for my cat. They expected to give it to someone with an old pet, not a new kitten. The cat’s still alive. The Vet Clinic has moved and rebranded 4 or 5 times, but they’re still honouring the award.


2. Good for dad!

My dad won a lifetime supply of cat food, but a) they delivered it all at once, and b) our cats didn’t like that flavour (of course)

We donated it all to a local animal shelter who were super pleased!


3. Reader’s Digest

My grandparents were gifted a lifetime subscription to Reader’s Digest as a wedding gift. They were offered that, or some other magazine that went out of business a decade later so they made the right call. Being a frugal family, that subscription was utilized fully. After grandma & grandpa were done with each issue, it would be passed along to siblings and their kids with this little round robin thing they did (sharing photos and updates of what everyone was up to, passed along in a manilla envelope and when it came back to you, you remove your items and put new ones in). They had been together for 62 years when grandpa died, but RD honored the subscription an extra decade until Grandma passed. I forgot how much was paid for it, but I’m certain the gifter got their money’s worth.


4. M&Ms

My mom almost ate the white m&m that they promoted like 25 years ago – if you find it, send it in, you get a lifetime supply of m&ms.

They sent us a voucher pack, that almost no store would take, but still managed to make it though the lifetime supply in about 1 month (granted there was 8 siblings).

Prob for the best tho.


5. Gas!

I know someone who won a free gas for life contest many years ago. They get a $100 giftcard every month.


6. Subway

I once worked a job that had me purchase Subway sandwiches for mobile working crews and let me keep the tickets, when you could fill the card up for free sandwiches. All the tickets were numbered and purchases valid. After 2 years I had enough tickets and receipts to redeem multiple sandwiches daily for at least 6 months if I wanted, and still accruing more. I started filling the cards and giving them to friends to eat a free lunch.

Within one month, my friends and I were banned from every subway in a 5 mile radius in Los Angeles. They put our pictures up on the wall and refused to honor the stamps, no matter who brought them in. Inside of another 2 years, Subway corporate cancelled the stamps altogether and no one would accept them. I couldn’t even give them away to a food bank or the homeless to get a free sandwich. Thanks Subway.


7. Tires

My mother bought a Toyota Yaris years ago and the dealership was running a ‘Tires for Life’ promotion. She gets free tires whenever she needs them, but she has to do all of her maintenance work at the dealership, and the deal won’t transfer if she sells the title. The dealership didn’t run the promo for long, and she was told recently she’s the only participant left from the promotion.


8. Free razors

I had a friend in college who won a lifetime supply of gillette razors. They just sent him a crate of Mach 3 razors and refill cartridges and that was that. It was just a one time shipment but it would be hard to get through that many razors in one lifetime.


9. Oh no

One free movie rental from blockbuster every week. And well ya know…


10. Not that great

My parents won a lifetime supply of toiletries. Soap, toilet tissue, and some other stuff. Once per quarter, you mail in the coupon and they send you another quarters worth of stuff.

It’s all institutional grade. Like what you’d expect prisoners to use.


11. Whoa!

I won the Cash 4 Life 1000$ a week lottery about 10 years ago. Every year I send them proof i’m still alive, and they send me a check for 52,000$ in the mail.


12. Massages

I won free full body massages for life, which basically just translates to 2 massages a week. It was really good. I got addicted. I knew everyone who worked there and I got to experiment with all of them to see which were the best. Ended up fluctuating between 3 different staff towards the end. They would even train new staff on me for free because I spent so much time over there. Those training massages never cost me anything either or counted towards my 2 free massage a week limit.

When the place closed down I realized just how expensive massages were… I haven’t had one in ages and I miss it so bad.


13. Free ice cream

My Uncle gets free Ben & Jerrys for life. He’s been Friends with the actual Ben and Jerry since before they opened the first shop. He has a card that says free ice cream for life and he can get pints or cones at any scoop shop (at least locally). He also gets decks of free pint coupons that he can use at grocery stores and gas stations. When Unilever bought them out they tired to buy back all the “free Ice Cream for life cards” I guess it was a fairly generous offer because my uncle is one of only a few that chose to keep the card.


14. Hot pockets

I didn’t really win it and it was only a years supply. But I got a years supply of hot pockets when I was 17 because I bit into a hot pocket that had no filling and I sent them an email pretending to be my mom complaining about it.

To my surprise they actually replied and sent me a golden coupon that was good for a year.

I ate so many hot pockets that I hate them now and haven’t had one since


15. Lifetime purchase

I bought (not won) a “lifetime” membership to PureVPN. After just 5 years, they reneged on that and said “no, you only purchased 5 years.” I showed them the receipt, and basically got “well we don’t honor that anymore, sorry”

Thankfully I bought it through StackSocial, so when I reported that to them they hooked me up with a different lifetime VPN provider instead.

Screw paying monthly for something I barely use.


16. Tune ups

When I bought my bicycle, the shop policy was that any new bike purchased included free tune-ups for life.

Personally, I thought this was a great business move, because it got me back in the store regularly to redeem my tune-ups, kept my bike running smoothly which kept me as an active cyclist (active cyclist = active customer), and I also would regularly buy parts/service beyond the tune-up when I was there. Which I was happy to do since I had a good relationship with the shop through this free tune-up deal.

When the shop changed owners, they discontinued the tune-ups, even for people like me who had purchased their bike under these terms. I don’t go there anymore.


17. 1000lbs of Oreos

I won a lifetime supply of Oreos. It was actually just one pallet full of Oreos. Probably would last a normal person their whole life. It was like 1000lbs of Oreos.

I gave away so many Oreos! Having a party ? I’ll bring a bunch of Oreos. Break room needs snacks? Oreos. I ended up donating like 400lbs of Oreos to a shelter, just to get them out of my garage.

Just for kicks I called to inquire if lifetime meant my lifetime, and that I had finished off the pallet. They said the pallet would last a reasonable person their whole life. So… That was a bummer. But I think that’s typically how those things work.

Edit: To those saying to sue for more, the full pallet taking up garage space was more of a burden than the benefit of always having Oreos. I don’t need it again.


18. Milanos

I won a year supply of Pepperidge farm Milanos when I was in college. My bf and I ate them all in like 3 months. 3 glorious months.


19. Models

Back in 1977 when I was 13 years old, I won a contest for a lifetime supply of models from Revell. A semi truck pulled up to our house in a very quiet suburban neighborhood and proceeded to unload 4 pallets of plastic models in the driveway. There were hundreds of models; probably one of everything they offered in their catalog at the time.

I kept about 2 dozen which kept me busy for a year or so. My father helped by finding a local retail hobby store to buy the rest of them at a very favorable price so we could just get rid of them. He put the money into US Savings Bonds for me which I cashed out many years later to use for a down payment on my first new car.


20. Batteries

I won a life time supply of AA and AAA batteries from a major Canadian tech retailer about 20 years ago. Thing is, batteries last a long time and there really isn’t that much that I use batteries for. Hypothetically I could start a black market battery business by just getting my free batteries and selling them to people in need, but it’s just not worth the time.

Even getting the batteries isn’t worth the time. I have to get them to type in my name in their system and there’s a note by my name indicated that I get free batteries because I won a contest 20 years ago. And then they run and get their manager to look at it, because that looks suspicious. And then the manager looks at it and then asks me questions and then they finally relent and give me my free batteries.


With inflation at almost a 40-year high, the topic of prices and wages is something everyone is at least thinking about. Hard not to.


Recently 35-year-old Madeline Pendleton took to TikTok to share how she and her employees receive the same universal wage, a feat that is wildly different from how much more most CEOs make than other members of their company.

The LA-based store, Tunnel Vision, touts itself as “clothes for deadbeat, lowlife, weirdos”.

In the video, Madeline explains, “I own a business, and everybody there, including myself, we all earn the same pay. And this could definitely be done at absolutely any company without the company even having to spend more money. It’s just income redistribution, really.”

“It just means that instead of your boss making $24 million a year, which is the average for the top 350 firms in the US to pay their CEO in 2020 (while you make like $30k or whatever for work in the same business), you take everybody’s salary in the whole place, then you average them out amongst the number of workers you have. Boom, company has a universal wage. I do this at my business and I’ll show you how it works.”

Madeline Pendleton

@Madeline_pendleton / TikTok

She then gets into the math of it all and shows how the store works its payroll.

“We have 10 full-time employees, including me, and we just got our quarterly raises. So we all make around $73,000 a year. That means our company’s annual payroll expenses for our full-time employees is $730,000.”

Madeline Pendleton

@madeline_pendleton / TikTok

“Let’s say I wanted to be a total asshole and I wanted to pay everyone at my company minimum wage except for me. Where I live in Los Angeles, our minimum wage is currently $15 an hour, but July 1, it goes up to $15.96 an hour. Let’s say I’m super benevolent, actually, and I round that up to a cool $16 an hour for all of my ‘lowly’ employees. That would mean their annual salaries would be $33,280 a year each. So there’s nine of them, meaning that all of those salaries would make up a total of $299,520.”

Madeline Pendleton

“Now remember, our annual payroll costs at the company are $730,000 a year just for the full-time workers. We have three part-time workers too, but I’m trying to keep the math simple.

“This means that if I paid all of them minimum wage (well, four cents above minimum wage, remember I’m being ‘nice’), even at my small business with just 13 employees, my annual salary would be $430,000. It’s ridiculous. This is what those CEOs are doing so they can make that $24 million a year while you guys make like $30k or whatever, and your company’s got a lot more revenue than my little dinky business does.”

Madeline Pendleton

@madeline_pendleton / TikTok

People were generally enthusiastic, one person writing, “please run for president, I beg”. Others, however, pointed out that it was difficult to swallow “when we start talking education and experience levels.” Madeline wrote back that, “If your job is necessary, it’s just as valuable.”

Madeline also spoke to Buzzfeed. She told them, “I was always focused on trying to pay equitably, but wasn’t always sure what the best method was to achieve that goal.”

@shoptunnelvision / Instagram

“In the beginning, I tried different models of what I thought was equitable pay…from each according to their ability to each according to their need.” She also tried a method that “ended up kind of replicating ‘girlboss’ culture and felt a bit like an MLM.” 

“Finally, in 2020, I settled on equal take-home pay across the board for days worked. It was easier for people to understand, and we combined it with giving people paid time off whenever they need — not just for vacations, but also for things like mental health days and physical health days. Our company culture is one that rewards rest, and we focus more on getting the work done than on putting in the hours.”

“We do profit sharing too, when it’s available, though we aim to just break even at the end of the year. Last year, we kind of went viral when we used the profit to buy employees new cars. This year, we’re working on getting everyone into owning their own home. We have an informal workplace democracy too, so we decide together what to do with our money in the workplace. It’s more focused on consensus and conversation than a simple ‘yes or no’ vote, and it seems to work pretty well.”

@madelinependleton / Instagram

“Everyone loves it. They feel like everything is extremely fair, and it makes us feel more like a community because we know we’re working not just for ourselves, but also to help each other out.”


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