San Diego couple shreds debt, bad memories to win 2017 'good riddance' contest

Posted at 12:44 PM, Dec 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-30 15:44:13-05

(KGTV) - For one local couple, the act of saying goodbye to 2017 has been a year in the making.

Carissa Payan, of San Diego, and her husband, Austen, have been working all year to shed $25,000 in debt. And not they get to shred the evidence, having successfully accomplished their goal.

Carissa's story was enough to get her selected as the winner of the Shred-it's Good Riddance Day contest this week in New York City.

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Participants submitted their most forgettable of embarrassing memories or memorabilia of 2017 or beyond for a chance to win a trip to the Good Riddance Day celebration in Times Square and New Year's Eve prize package.

The Payans' task of paying off the massive debt stemmed from a New Year's resolution made last year.

At the event, they shredded the bills from those now-completed payments in what had to be the most satisfying moment of their year.

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"Wrote it on a whole board and everything to say 'pay off debts,'" Carissa said in an interview with the Times Square Alliance. "We actually just made our last payment."

Carissa said her biggest sacrifice was selling off her wedding dress to help pay off the debt. Her husband also sold off one of their cars.

"Good Riddance Day was inspired by a Latin American tradition in which New Year’s revelers put artifacts or bad memories from the previous year into dolls and set them on fire,” Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said. “Here in Times Square, we might not be starting a bonfire, but we do encourage all New Yorkers and visitors alike to join us in the shredding of forgettable memories from this year."