I Won a Brand New Car For One Year

On May 3rd, 1995, husband and I had gone to test drive a truck at Liberty Chevrolet in Johnstown, OH. What we didn’t know was 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 our name had been drawn, we were one of 40 contestants chosen, and 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 my husband told me not to go for that reason (he was at work). That isn't how I operate! I take chances and think positive, so I decided to pack up the three 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 and told me fie]ve 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'd even practiced before I left, how I would react if I were to win. I wouldn't 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 five sets of keys into the drum and called us up in alphabetical order by our last names. I was #3 and I sent my son Alex, who was six at the time, to go pick out a key. Now, I’m sweating bullets. I also had my daughter Karlee (age four) and baby Ryan with me (five 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 then came the tears. You would’ve thought I won the car to keep! 

Now…what was a mom of three little ones going to do with a convertible?! After we all calmed down, we sat down and I got to customize my brand new 1996 Lebaron convertible!

I chose a dark teal with tan interior. I was allotted 15,000 miles and also told I would have to pay taxes on my return on the value of a one year lease. My "free car" wasn’t 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 ragtop and little ones to be honest. I did have fun when I drove it back and forth to work! I had the option to buy it at the end of the one year, but declined. I’m pretty sure this is the last thing I’ve ever won to this day!