Roll Up The Rim To Win Is Back. We Answer All Your Burning Questions

Are bigger cup sizes more likely to win?

Two red Tim Hortons roll up the rim to win cups with confetti design, on yellow background

Photo, CNW Group/Tim Hortons

On February 6, Canada’s favourite fast food sweepstakes is back. Prepare to bite, claw, and tear your way to a free doughnut (or, if you’re really, really lucky, a car) with Tim Hortons’ Roll Up The Rim To Win 2019. The campaign runs until April 17 (or until cup supplies run out).

Why Roll Up The Rim To Win Is The True Test Of My Eco ResolveWhy Roll Up The Rim To Win Is The True Test Of My Eco Resolve

For every hot beverage you purchase with a Roll Up The Rim cup, you’ll get the chance to win a prize — there are more than 40 million coffee and food prizes alone. Before you play, we answer all your burning questions about the contest.

What are my chances of winning?

You have a 1 in 6 chance of winning something. (But, due to the laws of probability, that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily win something if you buy six cups, though.)

Do you have a greater chance of winning if you get a bigger size drink?

There’s no upping your odds with an extra-large — Tim’s has confirmed that this is 100 percent an urban legend.

Can you substitute free coffee and doughnuts for other food items?

The winning coffee tabs work for any hot beverage (of any size), which means you could get anything from a small black coffee to a large hot chocolate. Likewise, the doughnut tabs let you redeem for any of the baked goods available. That includes muffins and cookies, as well as any doughnut — but not, say, a sandwich.

What prizes can I win this year?

There are 40 Jeep Compasses available, 100 prepaid credit cards for $5,000 each, 1000 GT bicycles from Sport Chek, 50,000 Tim Hortons gift cards  valued at $50 each, and of course, millions of food and coffee prizes.

Can you trade big prizes for cash instead?

No. But you can certainly accept and re-sell your prize like this man did.

Is there a way to play if you buy food instead of a drink?

Unfortunately not. Previously, you could Scrrroll Up To Win on the Tim Hortons app, which allowed you to play once a week (after making any purchase) for the chance to win a free coffee or doughnut. This year, the company has gone back to the basics and is only hosting in-store initiatives.

Wait — can’t I play without a purchase?

Tim’s will allow you to send them a request in writing for a free cup to their office in Saint John (You may address it here: Tim Hortons RUTR 2019 Contest Cup & Rules, PO Box 12102, Saint John, NB E2L 5E7). It must be postmarked by April 17 and received by April 26 to be valid, and you will also have to include a self-addressed envelope with postage paid — it might be easier to just buy a coffee.

Are there plans to let people win when they bring their own reusable mugs?

Calgarians Mya Chau and Eve Helman, both 12, and Ben Duthie, 16, are behind a petition asking Tim’s to introduce a fully compostable or recyclable paper cup. They also think the coffee chain can use Roll Up the Rim to Win to encourage customers to bring in reusable mugs. “If Tim Hortons had some sort of electronic version of the Roll Up the Rim to Win I think that would be a much more environmentally positive way to run the contest,” said Duthie.

In 2016, Albertan Ally Fraser launched another petition asking Tim’s to create a way for reusable mug users to win and it was signed by 19,363 people, so clearly there is a demand for more sustainability. Tim Hortons responded to the calls by pointing out that it wouldn’t save paper to print out scratch cards in addition to already printing out the cups.

So should I be worried about using all those disposable cups?

Tim Hortons says it’s working on more-sustainable packaging, but before you play be aware that paper cups are a big waste problem. Estimates from a few years ago put Canadians’ annual usage at up to 2 billion disposable coffee cups per year — as Canadian Geographic pointed out, that’s “up to 35,000 tonnes of paper, made from more than 70,000 tonnes of raw wood, harvested from thousands of hectares of forest.” And — contrary to popular belief — the cups themselves are difficult and expensive to recycle. (Toronto, for example, doesn’t take them in the city Blue Bin program, but it does take brown coffee cup lids for recycling.)

Sarah King, head of the oceans and plastics campaign at Greenpeace Canada, said Roll Up the Rim is a fun contest that Canadians love, but it inherently encourages people to use cups that will mostly end up in the garbage.

Will you be denied your big prize if you don’t bring in the entire cup?

I Won ‘The Prize Every Canadian Wants.’ Why I Decided Not To Keep My Roll-Up-The-Rim New Car
I Won ‘The Prize Every Canadian Wants.’ Why I Decided Not To Keep My Roll-Up-The-Rim New Car
As long as the tab is in one piece, you’ve got it. Be careful when you win a Tim’s gift card though — you want to make sure the entire PIN code is still intact on the tab when you redeem it. 

What do Tim Hortons stores do with the winning cup pieces?

Individual stores are responsible for keeping tabs on their coffee and donut tabs, but they lose their value after the event is over. For major prize tabs, they have to be sent in and validated at the contest office first.

Is it true that Canadians were crazy enough about this to invent a tool for rolling up the rim?

Roll Up The Rim To Win 2019 Tim Hortons, rimroller in action on cup

YES. After 18 years of ineffectually ripping at our coffee cup rims (RUTRTW launched in 1986), inventor Paul Kind came up with the “Rimroller” device in 2004. You can still buy them at Lee Valley Tools for $2.95. What can we say? This is what gets us through the bleak winter months.

Can I just win a car already?

Probably not, sorry, but this year, Tim Hortons has partnered with Jeep and there are 40 Jeep Compasses up for grabs. Good luck!

With files from the Canadian Press.