The coffee giant is offering more than 47 million contest prizes this year, including:
- 50 grand prizes of a 2014 Toyota Corolla Sport — in Tim Hortons red of course
- 100 Visa prepaid cards, valued at $5,000 each
- 25,000 $100 Tim Cards
- Plus millions of coffee and food prizes
- Two Toyota Corollas
- 28 prizes of “free coffee for a year”
- 28 Napoleon grills
- 560 $25 Tim Cards
Roll up the Rim to Win: A History
Here are nine important, fun or just plain random facts about Tim Hortons’ Roll Up The Rim To Win Contest.
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. "<a href="http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/2012/05/01/roll-up-the-rim-inventor-among-judges-at-may-12-bears-lair-finale">Like any invention, one person comes up with it, but it's the company that makes it work</a>," Buist said.
There's a novel about it
Giller Prize-nominated writer Leo MacKay Jr.’s novel <em>Roll up the Rim</em> is “<a href="http://www.indiegogo.com/rolluptherim">a comic tale of obsession, redemption, divine intervention, and Timbits</a>.” 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 <a href="http://www.torontosun.com/2012/02/25/thieves-stealing-roll-up-the-rim-cups">taken to hiding the cups behind the counter to keep people from stealing them</a>.
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, <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2006/04/19/hortons-cup-060419.html">Timmies gave the car to the 10-year-old</a>, 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 href="http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2008/03/26/manufacturer-blamed-for-faulty-roll-up-rims-man-says-his-cup-looked-like-it-had-teeth-marks-on-it">a manufacturing problem was to blame for the cup</a>, 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 <a href="http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2010/03/01/13076551.html">said they were looking into alternatives, but hadn’t found one yet that works</a>.
Tim Hortons took some criticism when it emerged in 2009 that <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2009/03/11/nb-tim-hortons-rims-629.html">your odds of winning are worse in some provinces than others</a>. 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 <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/05/15/bc-roll-up-the-rim-fraud.html">informed de Jong he wouldn’t be getting his prize because his cup was a fake</a>. 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 “<a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/tim-hortons-blames-roll-up-the-rim/article591364/">significantly increased food and beverage prize redemptions</a>.” 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.
But wait! This year, there’s more!
Tim's is offering customers a second chance to win 10 of those coveted Toyotas with a bonus roll on the other side of the cup, to celebrate their anniversary.
Tims is also holding a concurrent online contest, Rockin' RRRoll Up Roulette, which offers 10,000 more prizes and runs until March 16. Those prizes include:
The odds of winning at least a coffee or a doughnut are one-in-six. Winning cups are distributed by a third party and scattered throughout the cup cases, which are randomly distributed in an attempt to ensure no one restaurant gets more winning cups than another.
Roll Up the Rim launches Feb. 17 and runs until Apr. 25 or until supplies last.
Last year’s Roll up the Rim prizes included 100 pre-paid MasterCards loaded with $5,000 each, 40 Toyota Rav4s, 1,000 Napoleon grills, 25,000 Tims gift cards worth $100 each, and 47 million food and beverage prizes.
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