BRACEBRIDGE/GRAVENHURST – Driving to a class she wasn’t really supposed to be at, drinking a coffee she wasn’t going to buy, Diane Kitchen began talking about buying a new car.
“The cup was sitting in the car the whole way down,” she said.
On March 19 Kitchen was driving to a class at Laurentian College with her daughter when they stopped at Tim Horton’s to buy tea. Kitchen said she didn’t really want a coffee, but since they were there she bought her usual three-cream, double sweetener, large coffee.
“I actually rolled it up and said, ‘It’s a car … It’s a car!!” she said
Never one to win things, Kitchen drank from one of the lucky cups, scoring one of 50 cars Tim Horton’s is giving away for their 50th anniversary through the Rrroll Up the Rim to Win contest.
“I was shaking. I went into a Tim Horton’s and was thinking, can they see I’m nervous, panicked, scared? I didn’t believe it, I really didn’t believe it,” she said.
She told her son, John, who couldn’t believe it either. He sent a photo of the tab to a few friends and word spread like wildfire at Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School where he attends.
“It was crazy going to school and everyone knows my mom won one without me telling them,” he said.
Kitchen had to send the tab away in the mail to receive the prize, an anxious moment as she realized thousands of dollars lay in the envelope.
“I can’t really insure it, so I sent it express post with a signature,” she said. “They didn’t respond for a week.”
When they did she had to answer a skill-testing question, which she said was very easy.
On May 7 at 2 p.m. while Kitchen’s van was in at the mechanic to get the brakes fixed, Jeff Watson, owner of the Tim Horton’s by Gravenhurst on Highway 11, handed her the keys of the new 2014 Toyota Corolla Sport.
“For a restaurant owner it’s probably one of the most exciting things other than sending kids to camp,” Watson said.
A Tim Horton’s owner for 28 years, it’s the first time he’s had the opportunity to hand over the keys to a new car through the roll up the rim event.
As Kitchen got into the car she fumbled with the ignition for a moment before turning it on with the button. She played with the stereo and admired the seats.
“Leather, I’ve never had a leather car before,” she said.
Before she left, Tim Horton’s staff brought her another three-cream, double sweetener, large coffee. It sat in the cup holder of the new car as she and her son left the parking lot while her husband went to pick up their van.
“I can’t believe it,” she said.