While other students headed to class Friday morning, three University students met with singer and reality television star, Nick Lachey. Lachey visited the Virginia Avenue apartment of Brandon Hunter, Raymond Dawson and Colin Smith, bringing with him the prizes the students won on his new reverse auction Web site, Winnit.com.
The Web site was launched Sept. 18 and offers a different take on auction sites. Instead of the winner placing the highest bid, the prize goes to the individual with the lowest unique bid. That means that if two people bid $.01 for the prize and only one person bid $.02, the latter person would win, Lachey explained.
Winnit.com publicist Danielle Dalesandro said the Web site has been very successful so far. To celebrate the success, Nick Lachey and others from Winnit.com are taking an 11-day tour of the country, hand delivering the prizes 18 lucky participants won.
Hunter, a second-year College student, was certainly excited to have Lachey visit Charlottesville. Though he said at first he and his roommates were afraid it was a scam, “when he finally showed up, everyone just geeked out.”
Droves of girls came from the surrounding apartment buildings and houses to meet Lachey, but Hunter said his mother was probably the most excited to meet the celebrity.
“It was crazy,” he said.
In addition to promoting Winnit.com, Lachey also is making an effort to raise awareness for Feeding America, a hunger relief program he has been involved with for three years through its Entertainment Council. He and his crew visited the Charlottesville Food Bank and worked alongside volunteers sorting and packaging food for families in need.
“He wanted to have the philanthropy component thrown [into the promotional tour],” Dalesandro said.
Although this has always been a cause close to Lachey’s heart, he said the increasing need for emergency food supplies caused by the current economic recession is motivating him even more.
“With the economy the way it is, people all across the country are struggling to put food on the table,” Lachey said.
Dalesandro added that a portion of Winnit.com’s first month’s proceeds will go toward Feeding America. During the coming months, Winnit.com will donate to various other charities to provide assistance to as many organizations as possible, Dalesandro said.