Little Caesars gave away more than 1 million pizzas on Monday

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A line stretches down the street outside of Little Caesars in Highland Park during the Monday lunch hour. - ANTHONY SPAK
  • Anthony Spak
  • A line stretches down the street outside of Little Caesars in Highland Park during the Monday lunch hour.

Little Caesars gave away more than 1 million pizzas and Pepsi products during a 1.5-hour span on Monday afternoon, Crain's reports.

The free pizzas were a part of its March Madness promotion, in which the company said it would offer a Hot-N-Ready deep dish lunch combo for free if a No. 16 seed upset a No. 1 seed in the in the NCAA basketball tournament. That hadn't happened in 135 games, but the promo — called "If Crazy Happens" — was set into motion two weeks ago, when the University of Maryland-Baltimore County beat top-seeded University of Virginia.

Crain's writes that a "pizza industry insider" estimates that it cost the company about $4.3 million — which is still less than a 30-second Super Bowl commercial — and resulted in $14.3 million worth of exposure.

As far as we can tell, the promo was a success. Metro Times found lines down the block outside multiple Detroit-area Little Caesars stores on Monday morning, and some customers reported waiting up to 45 minutes for their free pizza. Approximately 4,300 stores nationwide participated.

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