Tim Hortons’ Roll Up To Win contest’s ‘technical error’ leaves some Maritime customers feeling duped


Three Maritimers have been left with a bad taste in their mouths after playing Tim Hortons Roll up To Win contest.

All three purchased a Tim Hortons drink on Monday from the popular coffee chain and after they digitally rolled up their rim, they were told they had won $10,000 from the contest.

However, the excitement of winning a big chunk of money turned bittersweet when the coffee and doughnut franchise told the contestants they hadn’t won at all, citing a technical error that impacted the contest’s opening day.

“I did my roll and then instantly on my screen, it came up in huge letters ‘Winner,”’ said Sarah Smith, who purchased a drink from Tim Hortons in Hantsport, N.S., Monday morning.

Smith said she was shocked with excitement and took a screengrab of the announcement on her app.

“It said congrats, Sarah Smith, you just rolled a $10,000 prepaid American Express card,” she said, who then filled out some information in the Tims App and verified her email address.

A screengrab Sarah Smith took on Monday morning after playing the Roll Up To Win contest.

Smith shared the news of her winnings with some coworkers at the Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville, N.S., and with her husband Ashley and her family.

Smith and her husband, Ashley, began thinking about how to use the winnings, including to take a trip to British Columbia to see family they hadn’t seen in years.

Sarah Smith said she hasn’t been back to Tim Hortons since the “technical error” with the Roll Up To Win contest.

“We thought now we’re finally going to be able to take our kids on that trip out west, to spend some much-needed time with loved ones and family members.”

New Brunswick paramedic Luc Masse also bought a Tim Hortons coffee on Monday and received the same $10,000 winning message. He says he couldn’t believe his eyes.

“Low and behold this message came up and it said I had won $10,000,” said Masse.

He took a screenshot and texted his wife Shannon to break the news.

“‘Hey, how’s your Monday morning going,'” Masse wrote in the text. “‘Mine’s going pretty good, look what I won.'”

As the day went on, both Masse and Smith grew weary when they couldn’t get confirmation from Tim Hortons regarding the win.

Instead, they received an email from Tim Hortons’ senior vice president and head of digital loyalty and consumer goods, Markus Strum, telling them there was a “technical error” with the Roll Up To Win contest.

In a statement to CTV News, Tim Hortons said there was a technical error that occurred for a few hours Monday morning that impacted a “small subset” of players.

“They were shown an incorrect award message for a prize that is meant to be awarded once per day to one person in our jackpot draw. We’re already in contact with some of the impacted guests to express our regret for the disappointment caused by this error.”

Smith and Masse said they were offered a $50 gift card and an apology for the technical error.

“I was frustrated and sad,” said Smith. “For the past 24 hours, I had been making plans on what we were going to be able to do.”

Smith says the offer for a $50 gift card felt more like a slap in the face.

“The gift card was kind of like an insult because, in the end, they are getting every cent of that $50 back,” said Smith. “So, really, for the amount of emotional damage it caused several people, they aren’t really out anything in the end.”

Masse says Tim Hortons should have to honour the winners.

“Some people will say $50 is better than nothing, but when you think you won $10,000, it’s an insult,” said Masse.

Masse says he just can’t accept the gift card right now and as a customer, he doubts he’ll ever go back for a coffee.

The paramedic admits he drinks, on average, four or five cups of coffee on his shift.

“If you had the win, then you won,” said Masse. “I think they should honour the winners.”


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