I Won a New Car For a Year, 1995

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On May 3rd, 1995, my ex-husband and I had gone to test drive a truck at Liberty Chevrolet in Johnstown, OH. What we didn’t know was that the salesman had entered us into a drawing to win a one year lease on a Chrysler Lebaron convertible.  A few days later, I got a phone call telling me that our name had been drawn, that we were one of 40 contestants chosen, and that we had to show up at the dealership that day (I forget the time, but I only had about a one hour notice!) if we wanted a shot at winning the car.  At first, I thought it was a scam and John told me not to go for that reason (he was at work).  That is not how I operate!  I take chances and think positive, so I decided to pack up the 3 kids and head to the dealership to check this thing out!

We walked in and the showroom was full of people.  They gave me a pair of coffee mugs and a free pizza coupon for showing up.  They also gave me an orange ticket and instructed me to place it in the drum.  In a few minutes, 5 tickets would be pulled from the drum and those would be the semi-finalists.  I started thinking, “hmmm, maybe I do have a shot at winning this car”.  I had even practiced before I left, how I would react if I were to win.  I would not act like an idiot or a crazy person on a TV game show who won a new car…or so I thought.

They started drawing tickets and wouldn’t you know, one of the numbers matched mine!  Next, they put 5 sets of keys into the drum and called us up in alphabetical order by our last names.  I was #3.  I sent my son Alex, who was 6 at the time, to go up and pick out a key.  Now I’m sweating bullets.  I.  also have mu daughter Karlee (age 4) and baby Ryan with me (5 months).  The first two people tried to start the car with their keys and nothing happened.  Now it was my turn.  I handed my baby to a random lady to hold and jumped into the front seat  The car started!  Of course, I started exclaiming “oh my God, oh my God, I’ve never won anything before in my life, and of course, came the tears.  You would’ve thought I won the car to keep!  Now…what was a mom of 3 little ones going to do with a convertible?!

After we all calmed down, we sat down and I got to customize the car.  It was a 1996 (or 6, I can’t recall which).  I chose a dark teal with tan interior.  I was allotted 15,000 miles and also told that I would have to pay taxes on my return on the value of a one year lease.  My free car wasn’t totally free, but it was fun to have for a year.  I parked my Ford Taurus in the garage for that year and used up every last mile before turning the car back in at the end of the one year.  The kids loved riding with the top down, but I never felt safe with a rag top and little ones, but I did have fun with it when I drove it back and forth to work!  I had the option to buy it, but declined.  I’m pretty sure that was the last thing I’ve ever won to this day!

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