This man tried to win free pizza but ended up with hypothermia instead

Congress Allows Pizza To Be Considered Vegetable In School Lunches
Getty Images | Joe Raedle

How far would you go to get free pizza? Down the block? The next town over? The next state? The top of a mountain? Well, that’s what happened to one man in Flagstaff, Arizona. On a quest to get a free slice, he climbed to the top of a mountain. This is his story.

Here at Don’t Waste Your Money we are seriously all about freebies, deals and saving money. But this story proves there is such a thing as going too far in the name of savings.

It all started when Caleb Schiff, the owner of pie shop Pizzicletta, wanted to encourage customers to get active in the community. He challenged people to hike to the top of Mt. Elden, a mountain located just outside the city of Flagstaff and offered an incentive: Anyone who made it to the top of the mountain at 8:30 a.m. would win a free meal later in the day.

Hikers who successfully completed the trek were presented with a golden ticket to claim their free pizza. The hiking promotion was a 21-day event that falls in line with the famous Giro D’Italia bicycle race. It’s one of many social challenges Schiff has organized while living in Arizona.

The weather on the mountain changes quickly, and the hiker in question (who has not been named) was apparently hiking in just shorts and a tank top while trying to win that free pizza, despite snowy conditions. According to reports from the sheriff’s office, the hiker called for help by 9 a.m.

He was retrieved by an employee of the U.S. Forest Service and taken into a lookout tower to warm up. Sgt. Aaron Dick, the search and rescue coordinator for the Sheriff’s Office confirmed to local Arizona station KPNX that the hiker was “shivering heavily and probably at mild stages of hypothermia.”

Schiff was understandably upset to hear that the hiker had taken such a serious risk just to get a free pizza.

“We never want anyone to risk their life for pizza. It’s certainly not worth it,” Schiff said.

Luckily, the hiker was fine. But next time you want to hike a mountain to get free pizza, check the weather first.

About the Author

Jessica Suss

An aspiring food and health writer, native Chicagoan, and nut butter enthusiast. Jessica is also the creator of BiteMeBlog, but don't call her a foodie More.

More to explore