DeGroote-Hill gives away $10,000
‘Losing’ never felt so good for Mike Kroetsch and Tammy Biddle, who shared the $10,000 DeGrooteHill Chevrolet Buick GMC elimination draw grand prize on Dec. 19 with John McKenzie.
“I was not expecting it at all, that’s for sure,” said Kroetsch, coowner of the winning ticket - one of the final two tickets to be drawn - with Biddle, after purchasing a 2018 GMC Sierra in October. “It feels good.”
“This was a sales event that started the first part of October,” said Wayne Vansevenant, Dealer Principal at Tillsonburg’s DeGroote-Hill. “The first 100 vehicles sold qualified that customer for a chance to be a part of this elimination draw.”
Additional prizes awarded to customers included four trips to Las Vegas, two barbecues, and two backyard coolers and a $100 gift card.
“Anything would have been nice to win - a win’s a win,” said Kroetsch, who said he might use a portion of the $5,000 cheque to buy a new phone.
“There’s half of the five grand gone, basically,” he laughed.
DeGroote-Hill customers with tickets gathered at the dealership on a Wednesday evening for the draw, and assigned numbers were drawn - and eliminated - one at a time.
“I think this is the first time it’s ever been done in this town,” said Vansevenant. “I don’t think anything like this has ever been done before...”
Other dealerships have had giveways, he noted, often done in the form of random computer-generated draws - not elimination draws.
“This was a lot more fun. We just thought this would create a lot more excitement.”
And there certainly was excitement, and the occasional groan when numbers were called out, sometimes laughter, and on one occasion a loud scream - quickly changing to loud sigh when the ‘winner’ realized she had been eliminated.
The field narrowed down to four ‘finalists’ who were brought forward to the draw table for last selections. Then it was down to two.
After consulting McKenzie, an absent ticket-holder, Kroetsch was given the option to draw for the $10,000 or split the ‘prize.’ Outwardly calm, it was a quick, easy decision for Kroetsch and Biddle - they opted to take $5,000 rather than risk everything on what would have been 50 per cent odds.
“It’s definitely anxious and nerve-racking,” smiled Kroetsch. “Cause you never know when your number’s going to get called, right?”
“It was a fantastic night,” said Vansevenant, pleased with the response from customers. “We brought in some (catered) food for everybody, I think it was great.
“And we had the past owner here, Reme DeGroote,” noted Bert Rilett, DeGroote-Hill general manager. “It was awesome.”
“I think the energy was good,” said Vansevenant, “and we had a lot of fun.”
It was DeGroote-Hill’s first $10,000 elimination draw, but Vansevenant is confident it will not be the last.
“Let’s just say we will do this again,” he nodded, smiling. “We will do this again.”
Mike Kroetsch and Tammy Biddle shared the DeGroote-Hill Chevrolet Buick GMC $10,000 elimination draw grand prize with John McKenzie, each winning $5,000. From left are DeGroote-Hill dealer and co-owner Wayne Vansevenant, Kroetsch, Biddle, and DeGroote-Hill GM Bert Rilett. McKenzie was absent for the photo.