Toronto

Toronto-area man rolls up the rim to win … a long wait for his prize Jeep

A Toronto-area man won a Jeep Compass in this year's Roll up the Rim contest — but didn't hear anything from Tim Hortons because they were calling the wrong number.

Winner heard nothing from Tim Hortons for weeks — because they were calling the wrong number

Massoud Ghahremani won a Jeep Compass when he bought a coffee in Markham, Ont., on March 5. (Makda Ghebreslassie/CBC)

When Massoud Ghahremani rolled up the rim on his Tim Hortons coffee last month, he saw the words everyone hopes for: He'd won a Jeep.

But nearly two months after sending in a claim form, he'd heard nothing about his prize — until Thursday, when CBC Toronto contacted Tim Hortons and a spokesperson for the major coffee chain said they realized they were trying to reach him at the wrong number.

"It seems that the form that was submitted by this individual had a digit that could be interpreted as either a '9' or a '4' and we were using the wrong number previously," said Tim Hortons spokesperson Devinder Lamsar in an email.

Ghahremani, however, said the company already knew who he was because he tried multiple times to get in touch. Over the past several weeks he had called Tim Hortons twice and sent an email, he said, but heard nothing back about his prize.

"They do know who I am. They've talked to me," he said.

The winning cup. (Submitted by Massoud Ghahremani )

'I didn't believe it'

Ghahremani, who lives in Richmond Hill, Ont., bought the winning coffee on March 5 in the Tim Hortons at Woodbine and 14th avenues in nearby Markham. He says he's been buying coffee there for years.

When he saw he'd won a Jeep Compass, "at first I didn't believe it," he said, and quickly texted a picture to his happy wife and kids. 

"I thought, my son is a very lucky guy," said Ghahremani, who planned to give the vehicle to his son. They had just been car shopping a few days earlier.

He filled out the prize claim form, mailed it off, and waited for a phone call.

Weeks later, he said, he'd heard nothing, even after following up via email and phone.

"I sent an email, they didn't get back to me. I called them twice," Ghahremani said on Thursday morning.

The company took a report when he called and said they would get back to him, he said. "But no one did."

For weeks, Ghahremani was unsure if Tim Hortons had even received his mail. He grew skeptical about whether a car was coming.

'Doing everything we can'

The spokesperson said Tim Hortons had tried to contact Ghahremani "on several occasions." However, the two phone numbers he'd provided "either did not go through or went to a voicemail that was not yet set up," said spokesperson Devinder Lamsar via email. 

Twelve minutes later, Tim Hortons sent another email to CBC with an update: it turns out they had been calling the wrong number, mistaking a "9" and a "4," the spokesperson said.

Tim Hortons called Ghahremani Thursday afternoon. The company said it is working to get him the Jeep as soon as possible.

A spokesperson for Tim Horton's says the above form 'had a digit that could be interpreted as either a 9 or a 4 and we were using the wrong number previously.' (Submitted)

"Even if my four looks like [a] nine, or opposite way, they know who I am … For 10, 15 minutes I was on the phone with them," said Ghahremani, after hearing the Tim Hortons response.

The company would have had a report from his call in their system, he said.

"They have my information."

Tim Hortons will be looking into the matter further, Lamsar said.

Ghahremani bought the winning cup of coffee at this Tim Horton's in Markham, at the corner of Woodbine and 14th avenues. (CBC)

"In the meantime, our regional marketing manager is personally working with Jeep to expedite this process to the extent possible. We're doing everything we can to make it right with this guest to ensure he gets his prize as soon as possible."

The Jeep Compass was the most valuable of Tim Hortons 2019 Roll Up the Rim prizes.

The odds of winning one of the 40 cars this year were one 1 in 6,630,705, according to Tim Hortons.

With files from Makda Ghebreslassie

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