|Tim Horton's Roll Up The Rim in Ottawa, Ont. Wednesday Feb 20, 2013. (Tony Caldwell/QMI Agency)
KINGSTON, Ont. – Canadians like to share, but they like free stuff even more.
Tim Hortons began its annual “Roll up the Rim to Win” promotion on Monday by asking a tough question: if someone buys you a coffee, and you win a car, do you let them have it?
Of those surveyed, 65% of respondents said they would keep the prize if treated to a winning coffee by a friend.
A total of 1,000 people took part in the nationwide survey, said director of coffee and tea brands for Tim Hortons Dana Brochu.
“I don’t think we were that surprised by the results,” she said, given how often people treat their friends and co-workers to a coffee.
This year’s prizes include 40 Toyota Rav4s, 1,000 Napoleon grills, 100 Mastercards worth $5,000 each, as well as thousands of free doughnuts, drinks and Tim Hortons gift cards.
She said most respondents said they would split the cash prizes with the person who bought them the coffee, but when it comes to the bigger prizes, like the barbecue or the Toyota, “they’re obviously harder to share.”
Deciding who wins the prize is one of the trickier points of “Rim etiquette,” but the rules state that whoever hands in the cup wins the prize.
Three-quarters of the people surveyed said they would thank the friend who got them a free car by buying them a gift, which she said was a very Canadian thing to do.
“The spirit with which we started the contest was to thank our guests,” she said. “I hope people will keep that spirit going.”
There have been a few instances in which winners were not so eager to share.
Tim Hortons customer Sharon McLauglin said she agrees with that decision.
If she won a car, she said she would sell it and share the money with the person who bought her the coffee.
She also thinks people who want their friends to share any prizes with them should make that clear before they buy the coffee.
“You could set the parameters before you buy the coffee,” she said. “You buy the coffee knowing that would be their choice.”
Beverly Saillant said she would do the same thing.
“That would be the fair thing to do,” she said.