DeG­roote-Hill gives away $10,000

Tillsonburg News - - FRONT PAGE - CHRIS AB­BOTT

‘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.”

Chris Ab­bott/Till­son­burg news

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.

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