Get a bigger purse: The winning receipt

Liz Neal only stopped to buy a pack of Skittles for her daughter. But one May evening, the 44-year-old computer security specialist ended up leaving the Fort Mill CVS with a lot more than she bargained for: a 38-inch-long piece of paper.

The lengthy receipt she received was, at first, destined for the trash. But then, Liz read the Observer's story about retailers' efforts to shorten long receipts and noticed our contest searching for the longest. She sent hers in.

Now, she has emerged victorious, besting the next-closest receipt – also from CVS – by a mere 1/4 inch.

In an e-mail, CVS said printing coupons on its receipts helps it cut back on the amount of paper needed to print advertising circulars, saving money and paper overall. The company said it currently had no plans to modify its sales slips.

The competition was heated. We received more than 30 entries from across the region – and we thank you.

The most common sentiment? Exasperation – at the waste, at the time you spent waiting for receipts to print, at the $2 mail-in rebate receipt that would consume most of the $2 by the time you stamped it.

The majority of the receipts sent our way came from CVS which regularly includes multiple coupons linked to its customer loyalty card, and Lowe's. But yes, Bernie Murphy of Stallings, your Verizon receipts also warrant honorable mention. (“The machine just kept spewing the paper,” he wrote.)

Jen Aronoff