KFC Awards $11,000 To Couple Who Named Their Baby After Colonel Sanders

Pictured is a statue of Colonel Harland Sanders.
Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

In August, KFC announced that it will award a huge prize to parents who will name their newborn after Colonel Harland David Sanders, who founded the fast-food chicken restaurant chain.

The baby-naming contest will award $11,000 in college tuition money to the first family to have a child on Colonel Sander’s birthday and then name the child Harland.

If he were alive, Colonel Sanders would have turned 128-years-old on September 9 this year.

According to KFC, the contest aims to bump up the use of the name Harland.

The last time that the name made it to the top 1,000 names for American baby boys was about 70 years ago. In 1918, the year in the 20th century when most Harlands were produced, only 155 were given the name. In 2017, the name is ranked at 3,257 of the most popular baby names in the United States.

KFC U.S. chief marketing officer Andrea Zahumensky said in a statement that vintage names are making a comeback but the name of the company’s founder dwindles in popularity.

“We couldn’t just stand idly by and let that happen,” Zahumensky said in a statement, according to Fox News.

“We hope that this birthday celebration honors the Colonel and encourages the next generation of people aspiring to live the American dream.”

A bucket of KFC Extra Crispy fried chicken is displayed.
  Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

KFC said that besides receiving the $11,000 donation, the winner will also get an additional $3,850 to offset taxes.

KFC has been criticized for the contest. Joe Pinsker of The Atlantic described the offer as a new low for marketing.

“It is sad to think of the conversation young Harland’s parents might someday have with him, explaining that he is named for the respected patriarch not of his family but of the company that makes the Double Down,” Pinsker wrote.

It turns out, however, that some parents are willing to name their baby after KFC’s founder.

On Tuesday, KFC announced the winner of the contest and shared the photo of the baby, who weighed 8 pounds and 1 ounce at birth.

Surprisingly, while the name Harland is more popularly associated with boys, the baby who won the contest is a girl. Her parents named her Harland Rose.

“I’m as pleased as pumpkin punch to announce the winner of our Baby Harland Naming Contest and the Harland who will be ushering in an all-new generation of Harlands, little Harland Rose,” KFC tweeted on Tuesday.

According to USA Today, Harland Rose’s parents plan to call her “Harley.”