logo timmy'sCredit: http://hotcanadadeals.ca/

The 2015 Roll Up The Rim To Win is back at Tim Horton's.  If you are a coffee drinker living in Canada it is hard not to notice, there is at least one restaurant in every small town.  This year, the contest has made a number of small tweaks to the game, but the odds of winning something is still one in six.

The contest is a marketing campaign created by the Canadian fast food chain: Tim Horton's.  People who buy a hot beverage has a chance to win a prize by rolling the rims of the cup.  Underneath the rim, it either reveals the prize that you win or a “please try again”.

It was first created in 1986 to attract hot beverage drinkers to buy more coffee in the Spring months, since warmer Canadian weather in February and March would mean fewer hot beverage sales.  The campaign has become very popular that a lot of coffee chain rivals offer a similar roll up the rim event to attract beverage drinkers.

Tim Horton CupCredit: http://rolluptherimtowin.com/

2015 Roll Up Rewards and Odds

This year's contest has been tweaked a bit.  To make people buy the bigger and a bit more expensive cup sizes, small coffees will now have only one roll up the rim to win (Tim Horton's call it the standard roll).  Other size cups will still feature two roll up the rim to wins (The standard roll and the bonus roll). The standard roll gives people the chance to win the LG TV, Toyota Camry, $100 Gift Card, random food prizes; and a bonus roll to win the $5000 prepaid Visa gift cards.  The number of prizes are as follows: 

  • Toyota Camry - 50
  • LG 55" OLED TV - 100
  • $100 Tim Hortons Gift Card - 25000
  • $5000 Prepaid Visa Cards - 100
  • Any Size Beverage/ Muffin/ Donut/ Cookie - More than 2,500,000 prizes to be won

If you look at the odds below, the bonus roll (the chance to get the prepaid Visa card) is just a marketing ploy to make drinkers think they have more of a chance to win:

Timmy's Odds GraphCredit: My Own Analysis

In looking at the columns from left to right, the Odds is a person's chance of winning.  The coffee and food prizes are one in six, then that means for every 6 cups purchased, there should be one free coffee or donut.  These odds were provided from the Tim Horton's website.   

The Winning Chance (%) converts the odds into a percentage figure.  Using the food reward as an example, there is a 16.67% chance of winning this each time a coffee is purchased

The last column: Expected Amount to Spend ($) takes the odds further by calculating how much a typical person is expected to spend to win that respective prize.  These dollar figures are based on the price of a medium coffee $1.70 (excluding tax).

So what does this all mean?  Well, if you are buying Tim Horton's coffee for the sole purpose of winning a Toyota Camry, then you are better off just buying it from the Toyota dealership. Spending more than a whooping $10.5 million when the car costs at most $40,000, it is clear which is more worth it.

For the record, I have so far purchased one medium and a large cup of steeped tea and so far, my reward has been one free cup.  So out of three cups I am down a little over a dollar. 

Tim Horton's Contest Goes Digital

Tim Horton's this year also introduced an online version called "Rrroll Up Replay".  With a click of the mouse, people - even if you did not buy a cup of coffee - can roll the rim to win online prizes.  The rewards are exactly the same as the in-store prizes, but the prize quantity is fewer than the in-store ones:

  • Toyota Camry - 1
  • LG 55" OLED TV - 60
  • $25 Tim Hortons Gift Card - 2400
  • $5000 Prepaid Visa Cards - 8
  • Any Size Beverage/ Muffin/ Donut/ Cookie - More than 300,000 prizes to be won

The online version does need you to register for a free account.  Each user gets a maximum of 5 plays, each play allows you to get one roll and a second reroll.  Each play gives the user a choice of three Tim Horton's cup to choose from.  Based on the cup you select, it will determine whether you win or not.  When you use up all five rolls, you need to wait an hour before one free roll is given to you (up to a maximum of five).  

Each time you play, you also get to earn points.  The first play grants the user 35,000 points and each successive play wins 1,000 points.  Once 200,000 points are accumulated, you earn an “Extra Day of Play” at a maximum of five.  To get even more points, people can earn badges by checking into a Tim Horton's, purchasing food or drinks.  The more times you buy food or check in, the more points you get.

The one downside to the online contest is that it is seems difficult to win.  After going through several online rolls, I have yet to win anything.

Too Gimmicky?

For the in-store prizes, it is clear that Tim Horton's is developing new ways to get people to spend more on its coffee.  It designed the small cups to have just one roll up the rim when the bigger sized cups has two.  This was meant to entice people to spend on the bigger cups.

As for the online version, the game resembles too much like a slot machine.  From the way the cups would spin after making a selection to the bright red color of the website, it does give a bit of a casino feel. 

With the ability to earn more points by going to the Tim Horton's restaurants, it is a smart marketing ploy to increase consumer traffic.  If you want to play the online game then you have to show up at a Tim Horton's and spend.  Perhaps this is a marketing technique to directly attract the younger generations.

Whatever it is, gimmicky or not, the odds of winning something in its restaurants is still one in six.  In my books, its worth a cup of coffee.