Update, Feb. 17: HuffPost Canada has confirmed the prizes for 2013, including 100 MasterCards.
Tim Hortons’ Roll up the Rim contest is back in 2013 for its 27th year on February 18, and already rumours are flying as to what the prizes will be.
Several blogs have published lists of what they say are the Roll Up The Rim prizes for 2013.
We called Tim Hortons and they disavowed any knowledge of these lists, saying only that “it didn’t come from us.”
Among this year’s prizes, according to these lists, will be 40 Toyota RAV 4s; 1,000 pre-paid MasterCards with $5,000 on them each; 1,000 Napoleon BBQs, and 47 million food prizes.
It certainly seems plausible, as both Toyota cars and Napoleon BBQs have featured as Roll Up The Rim prizes in previous years. There were 40 RAV4s available in the 2010 contest. In 2011, Roll up the Rim had 40 Toyota Matrix models, and last year it was the Toyota Camry.
We’ll be reporting all the official contest details once they’re available. In the meantime, here are nine important, fun or just plain random facts about Tim Hortons’ Roll Up The Rim To Win contest.
Text version below slideshow
This is the guy who invented it
Ron Buist was the marketing director for Tim Hortons when the chain rolled out its first Roll up the Rim to Win contest.
Buist says he came up with the idea because of cost constraints. The chain didn’t have enough money to make cups for a scratch-and-win contest, so he came up with the idea of rolling up the cup’s rim instead.
There's a novel about it
Giller Prize-nominated writer Leo MacKay Jr.’s novel Roll up the Rim is “a comic tale of obsession, redemption, divine intervention, and Timbits.”
MacKay is selling the book directly, and depending on how much money you send him, you can get the book autographed, get a reading from the author via Skype, or even get an in-person reading. Now that’s dedication.
A hot commodity among thieves
Some retailers who carry Tim Hortons coffee have reported customers doubling or even tripling up on roll-up-the-rim cups. Some brazen wannabe winners are going so far as to take entire stacks of cups out of stores. Retailers have taken to hiding the cups behind the counter to keep people from stealing them.
Dude, where's my Toyota?
A winning Timmies cup became the centre of acrimony in 2006 when a 10-year-old Montreal girl found a cup in a garbage can. With the help of a 12-year-old friend, the girl discovered that the cup was a Toyota RAV4 winner.
But the contest win turned into a battle between two families when the 12-year-old’s parents claimed the prize for their own. And the whole issue became even more complicated when a custodian at the girls’ school claimed he had thrown the cup away.
In the end, Timmies gave the car to the 10-year-old, as the rules stipulate whoever hands in the cup wins the prize.
Timmies employees sneaking and peeking?
A Newfoundland man told the press in 2008 he suspected Timmies employees of sneaking and peeking at cups to suss out winners, then passing along the losing cups to customers.
Bernard Delaney said he got a cup that looked like the rim had already been rolled up, and the cup, he said, even had teeth marks.
Tim Hortons said a manufacturing problem was to blame for the cup, and denied anyone had bitten into the cup or sneaked a look under the rim.
Environmentalists vs. Roll up the Rim
The Toronto Environmental Alliance criticized the Roll up the Rim contest in 2010, noting that disposable coffee cups of the sort Tim Hortons uses are wasteful and harmful to the environment.
"A lot of resources go into making a coffee cup and too often they end up going into garbage. . . . it's a pretty significant waste of resources,” the group said.
Tim Hortons took some criticism when it emerged in 2009 that your odds of winning are worse in some provinces than others. CBC reported that, though 52.5 per cent of Roll up the Rim purchases took place in Canada’s largest province, Ontario only received 43 per cent of prizes. The best odds of winning were in British Columbia, where the odds of winning were nearly double that of Ontario.
Vancouver Island house painter Matthew de Jong walked into a Tim Hortons in 2009 and presented a winning cup for a Toyota Venza.
A week later, the company informed de Jong he wouldn’t be getting his prize because his cup was a fake. Tim Hortons even suggested it could bring charges against de Jong.
But when the story hit the news, a 12-year-old girl who lived in the house de Jong was painting came forward to admit she had made a fake winning cup as part of an April Fools prank.
Tim Hortons dropped the matter.
Bad for business??!!
In 2011, when Tim Hortons missed quarterly earnings projections, the company blamed the bad performance on “significantly increased food and beverage prize redemptions.”
The company estimated Roll up the Rim had cut about a third off of same-store sales growth that quarter.
But the company also noted that a coffee promotion at McDonald’s during that year’s Roll up the Rim may have cut into sales.