February 23, 2016 10:28 am
Updated: February 23, 2016 8:27 pm

Why you shouldn’t post your Tim Hortons win on Facebook

WATCH ABOVE: Newfoundland woman Margaret Coward rolled up the rim of her Tim Hortons cup to reveal a $100 prize. She was so excited, she posted the cup on Facebook – including the PIN code. Someone else saw the code online and used it to claim her prize. Tom Hayes has the story.


A Newfoundland woman has a warning for other potential Roll-Up-the-Rim winners after she claimed she posted a photo of her winning Tim Hortons cup on Facebook only to have it stolen by a “friend.”

Margaret Coward of Conception Bay South, N.L., was unaware her $100 Tim Card could be redeemed online using the PIN printed on the lip of the coffee cup.

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After rolling up her win and posting the picture, she called Tim Hortons and was told she could redeem her win online, Coward told Global News from her home Tuesday.

She said it immediately clicked in her mind that someone else might have seen her picture and beat her to it.

“I immediately took it down off my Facebook because my PIN code was there,” Coward recalls.

“And I tried to claim my prize and and it kept on coming up, invalid, invalid. And I thought, this can’t be real I just posted it about a half hour ago.”

Coward says her Facebook privacy settings only allow friends to see her posted photos. She says it’s “heartbreaking” to think that one of her Facebook friends would claim her prize.

“I can’t imagine who did it. I don’t know, I don’t want to know.”

A company official told her the email address of the person who claimed the prize couldn’t be revealed for privacy reasons.

Coward says her Facebook friend count appears to have decreased since the card fiasco.

“I don’t know if it was coincidental, or if it was someone feeling guilty,” said Coward. “But I then had to put a public post out there for people to be aware of posting their winning cup.”

On her Facebook page she posted a warning to others not to make the same mistake she had.

“Goes to show you that you always need to be careful of what you’re posting and taking pictures of,” Coward wrote on Friday. “Something I so excitedly and innocently posted… always a lesson to learn, even at my age.”

“Hopefully it doesn’t happen to anyone else,” she wrote.

Tim Hortons recently introduced the PIN feature to allow winners to collect their $100 Tim Card prize online, rather than mailing in the winning tab.

“As these are unique PIN codes, we do not encourage our guests to post images of their tabs on social media until they have redeemed their prize,” Jodi Bond, the communications director for the chain’s parent company, Restaurant Brands International, said in a statement.

After initially being told by Tim Hortons she was out of luck, an Oakville, Ont., location has contacted Coward and is sending her a $100 Tim Card.

“It didn’t really matter to me in the end if I got it or if I didn’t, the purpose behind me making it public was: be careful of what you post, make sure you know rules of contests of anything you do post and really be careful of your friends,” Coward said with a chuckle.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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