A history of Tim Hortons' Roll Up the Rim-related controversy


The yearly Roll Up the Rim promotion at Tim Hortons is a tradition beloved by many Canadians. With the purchase of a coffee, customers can unfurl its rim to have a shot at winning a range of prizes, from a free donut to a new car. But over the years, the limited-time contest has stirred up a fair share of controversy and brew-ha-ha, if you will. Here’s a timeline of some of the most scandalous Roll Up the Rim-related stories.

2006: A 10-year-old girl in Montreal finds an unrolled coffee cup in the garbage at her school. The girl asks a 12-year-old friend to help roll it up and they discover it’s a prize-winning cup for a Toyota RAV 4. The families of the two girls get into a dispute involving lawyers, over whether the prize should be split. A school employee then claims that he was the one who threw out the cup in the first place. Tim Hortons eventually decides the car rightfully belongs to the girl who found the cup, and the proper thing to do is award the prize to her family.

2008: A man in Newfoundland finds teeth marks on his cup and accuses Tim Hortons’ staff of rolling it up before selling it to him. This follows a similar incident in Halifax, where a man claims his cup had been pre-rolled. Tim’s claims this was the result of a manufacturing error.

2009: A house painter from Parksville, B.C. rolls up the rim to find out he’s won a 2009 Toyota Venza. After bringing his cup to claim his prize, he’s eventually informed by the company that the cup was a fraud. After the man went to local media in an attempt to get some publicity, the coffee company informed him they might get legal authorities to officially investigate. Eventually, a 12-year-old girl who lived in one of the houses the man was painting fessed up to the prank, saying she made the fake cup as an April Fools joke.

2012: Tim Hortons is introduced in gas stations as self-serve kiosks. Some stations are forced to keep their Roll Up the Rim cups behind the counter, to prevent customers from swiping several of them at a time. Some people even try to make off with full sleeves of the coffee cups, with one attendant comparing them to “Lord of the Rings” character Gollum yearning for his “precious”.

2015: A Newfoundland woman attempts to claim her Roll up the Rim prize of a $100 Tim’s gift card, but is denied for not abiding by the new rules. According to the company, the woman didn’t produce a part of a cup rim that shows a PIN number. The woman takes her strife to the Internet, and is eventually contacted by the manager of her local Tim Hortons, who offers her a gift card.

2017: Police in Belleville, Ont. make several arrests in connection with a break-and-enter at a local Tim Hortons, in which a number of boxes of precious Roll Up the Rim cups are stolen. Three teenagers are charged, including a former employee of the store.