Why Does an Oklahoma TV Station Think It’s a Good Idea to Give Away Storm Shelters as Prizes?

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A TV station in Oklahoma is giving away a storm shelter in a new sweepstakes. This may seem like a strange prize to offer — until you consider the area’s meteorological history.

KFOR-TV in Oklahoma city is holding a sweepstakes to give away a Thunderground Storm Shelter. While most sweepstakes ask audiences to submit a photo, video, or essay that can be used as advertising to enter the sweepstakes for free, KFOR-TV asks only that audiences watch the channel’s news program, which will broadcast a five-second clip a “text in” or “phone in” keyword of the day. Audiences can then either call in with the word, or text the word to a hotline to enter. The contest has already begun, and ends on May 20.

Each of the 20 qualified winners will be eligible to have an in-garage storm shelter from Thunderground Storm Shelters, which have a value of $3,295, installed for free in their homes.

To many, a storm shelter might seem like an odd prize to win, but given the fact that tornadoes have a tendency to roll through the state and leave a path of destruction in their wake, it’s not all that strange.

On average, Oklahoma deals with 54.9 tornadoes each year, according to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office. In 1999, Oklahoma dealt with a staggering 145 tornadoes, the largest amount in a single 12 month period going back more than 50 years. The Oklahoma City area, specifically, has had to deal with two or more tornadoes in a single day on 26 different occasions.

The deadliest tornado to ever hit Oklahoma happened in 1999. It claimed 35 lives, and did about $1 billion in damage. The most expensive tornado to ever hit Oklahoma happened just two years ago, doing $2 billion worth of damage, and claiming 24 lives.

So far in 2015, there have already been 10 tornadoes in the Sooner State.

To enter the contest and win a potentially life saving asset, watch KFOR-TV’s news and pay attention to the word of the day.

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