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May 23, 2019

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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Why is that Masters pimento cheese sandwich so cheap?

Andy Uhler Apr 11, 2019
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One of Augusta National's famed pimento cheese sandwiches is seen during the second round of the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2011 in Augusta, Georgia.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Masters is steeped in tradition, from the green jacket donned by the winner to the azaleas that line the 13th green. Another one of those traditions? Cheap food for fans. We’re talking ham and cheese on rye for $2.50. Georgia pecan caramel corn for $1.50. And of course, golf’s famous pimento cheese sandwich, also $1.50.

“You could spend the entire day there, literally leave ten pounds heavier, and you’re still going to be that heavy, because your wallet is not that much lighter,” said Drew Wilkinson, an Atlanta resident who’s been to the Masters three times.

Why so cheap? Zacks stock analyst David Borun looked into that. “Augusta National does not mind leaving a little money on the table,” he said. According to Borun, the Masters is more interested in tradition than maximizing profit from egg salad sandwiches. The tournament still makes $120 million a year, he said. “Less than $10 million is concessions but almost $50 million is branded merchandise.”

That merchandise includes Masters-emblazoned hats, shirts and golf balls. “You’ll walk out of there easily spending hundreds of dollars,” said Wilkinson.

If reading this made you hungry, you can make your own pimento cheese sandwich — just mix up some cheddar, mayonnaise, cream cheese, pimento peppers, add some spices, slather it on white bread … and enjoy.

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