A Little "Roll Up the Rim" Bragging

I think most of my non-Canadian readers at least know that Tim Horton's is a national treasure up here. The coffee shop has never really done an international expansion like McDonald's, but it has been the ultimate national success story. If you think Canadian, you often have to include a Tim Horton's coffee along with the igloo and beaver. The restaurant had an incredibly profitable last year, and continues to grow in this country and beyond.

But if you're not Canadian, then you may not know what "Roll Up the Rim" is. This is a real travesty, because you really need to know one of the major events that unite almost all Canadians. Plus you need to know what it is that I'm actually bragging about.

"Roll Up the Rim" is the yearly event that usually goes from end of February to mid-May. You basically do exactly what the title claims, you roll up the rim of your coffee cup and see if you won anything. The prizes range from all over; you can win things like coffee, doughnuts, gift cards, camping gear, 3D TV, and a car. My parents actually won camping gear one year. More often you end up winning a coffee or doughnut. It is always fun to win stuff, even if the prize is under two bucks. Tim Horton's says you have 1 in 6 odds. You'd have to buy six coffees before winning a free on your sixth. Those are still pretty good odds when you consider there is a lot of people who buy two coffees or so a day.

The contest is actually pretty genius. Tim Horton's has essentially turned it into the kind of event that thousands of people eagerly look forward to every year. It is such a big deal that I know people who don't normally go to Tim Horton's, who become regular Tim Horton's drinkers during the contest period. I'm sure their business grows to a huge degree during this time, and it is profitable enough that they can give away tons of free food. I admit that I frequent the establishment more often during this time.

But I don't always have to pay for my coffee either.

You see, I laugh at those 1 in 6 odds. I not only laugh, but I scoff and guffaw at them. Maybe even chuckle. Because my success rate has been far better than 1 in 6. A conservative estimate would put it at closer to 3 in 6 (after this week, maybe even inching towards 4 in 6). And even better, I actually won a free coffee that was redeemed with a "Win Coffee/Latte" tag. Yes, I'm on a roll.

I may not have landed a lucrative book deal. I may still need to find ways to supplement my income. I'm always being told that I stack the dishes improperly in the washer. Sometimes my son pees on me. And I can't even eat without spilling. But man oh man, am I ever good at winning free coffee.

I have only won coffee. But I've also only known my parents to win one of the bigger prizes. So, I sort of expect to just win coffee and doughnuts. I prefer the coffee because then I have a rim to roll (the doughnuts are delicious but lack a rollable rim that wins you free stuff). I get great pleasure actually winning a coffee from an already free coffee.

I've got a great winning percentage. How is this going to lead to bigger and greater success? Can my luck translate to other areas? Probably not, but I am far more caffeinated now. This means I don't need silly things like sleep. I am way more productive with my writing or running around in circles. Plus you end up looking like a real swell guy when you "buy" someone a coffee, but you feel great knowing you actually only paid for the one you'd have bought anyway. So, maybe my "Roll Up the Rim" success doesn't translate well to other things, but hey, I've paid for a lot less coffee than most other people over the last month. So take that.

I also realize my success is really only appreciated by other Tim Horton's coffee drinkers. Even then, maybe my revelation is causing a minor upheaval. Obviously, my 4 in 6 win rate means someone is likely stuck with a 1 in 12 success, or even worse, is still waiting for that first sweet, sweet, sweet free coffee. If that is the case, I'm sorry. I can't help it that I'm just that awesome when it comes to winning free coffee.


  1. You sir, are the one who has been theiving all of my free coffees. I should have been getting those winning cups, as my odds of winning seem to be sitting around 1 in 40 cups. I demand satisfaction! (this is where I would take off my white glove and slap you across the face)

  2. I'll wait for you to go find a white glove. When you arrive, I'll try not to spill my free coffee on it.

  3. while you're there, you should buy some ground coffee and ship it to your curly southern friend in CA, since you have all that extra money from the free coffees :)

  4. Um. . . er. . . post hasn't been invented yet in Canada?


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