Update on March 31, 2015: FINALLY, I have my i527 (ATT) with 4.4.2 rooted! I spoke to a couple of the "android rooter companies online".. One eneded up having to refund the money because they could not do it. The android rooter software, sold commercially was useless (forgot the name). Finally, I found this one guy.. he said and he did root it and unlock it for only $50!
If any of you are interested, please PM me and I will give you his contact info.
And by the way, I am still in for $20 for root bounty - if comeone figures it out - even though I no longer need it, I would like to encourage a root solution for this.. Obviously, it can be done.. and also obviously, I would never ask the guy who rooted it as to how he did it.