Shopping spree winners clean up |

Shopping spree winners clean up

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Maxine and Ron Fortino shop at Grocery Outlet on Friday afternoon. A free two-minute shopping spree netted the couple more than $330 worth of groceries.

Maxine Fortino knew exactly where she was headed when her two-minute shopping spree began at the Grocery Outlet on Friday – meat.

“I had five dreams about this,” she said, laughing at the recollection. “It was just me running like an idiot, like I couldn’t get traction.”

When the countdown began just after 1 p.m., Maxine moved into place near the chicken, and her husband Ron, 67, revved his engine at the front door.

Then they were off.

Maxine, 71, tossed in bags of chicken and boxes of steak. Ron leaned on the shopping cart. She moved to the frozen cooked turkeys. Ron followed with the cart.

Then Maxine made her way toward the sausage with Ron on her heels.

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Outlet owner Dave Cox got caught up in the excitement and made a Hail Mary pass with bags of onion rings into their cart. His wife, Lynne Cox, slam-dunked pies – a couple pumpkin and one blueberry.

When it was all said and done, the Fortinos may have only made it to the end of one aisle, but they had loaded $337.15 worth of groceries – mostly meat – into their cart.

“This was fantastic,” Maxine said breathlessly afterward. “I never win anything.”

She had beat out scores of other entries to win the spree in a drawing held earlier this month at the bargain grocery store.

The news of the win came a day after Maxine injured herself slipping on ice at her house. When Grocery Outlet owner Dave Cox called to tell her she’d won, Maxine told him she was having trouble walking. So Cox told her to bring her husband along.

“(Dave) didn’t have to do that,” she said. “I thought it was super of them.”

With two freezers at home to store the loot, she was sure she and Ron would be feasting like royalty for months. And their 9-year-old Jack Russell terrier, Sassy, who Maxine said has never had to eat dog food in her life, would also benefit from the bounty.

When Maxine learned of the total, she was stunned.

“Whoa, that’s our monthly budget,” she said.

Maxine only had one thing to say about Ron’s performance.

“I was so busy, I didn’t even notice him.”

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.