By Josh Vardaman Courier staff writer
The Daily Iowegian
---- — OTTUMWA — Winning a sweepstakes sponsored by a company with almost 300 store locations is a long shot, but Ray Johnston, of Centerville, was the lucky winner of the Menards November 2013 Vehicle Sweepstakes.
Johnston signed up for the sweepstakes while he was doing some light shopping at the Ottumwa Menards, a store that he goes to two or three times a week, he said. Little did he know, a few weeks later he would be getting a call from a Menards official telling him that a brand new 2014 Dodge Charger was his.
“You don’t win these things too often,” Johnston said. “I appreciate everyone at Menards.”
Johnston and his wife, Alexia, were at the Ottumwa Menards Feb. 5 to pick up their new Charger. The car, which is valued at around $34,500, is quite different than the 1996 Ford Ranger that Johnston currently drives.
“It’s just what I need,” he said. “It’s a nice-looking orange car, and I’m glad to have it.”
Thanks to the sweepstakes, a free car is given to one lucky customer from any of Menards’ 287 stores throughout the Midwest. Menards has given away a free car each month since December 2012, but until Johnston won there had never been a winner from Iowa, let alone Ottumwa.
“We’re pretty lucky we gave away one here in Ottumwa,” Ottumwa Menards General Manager Doug Yeoman said.
Each month the sweepstakes is sponsored by one of the company’s vendors. For the November 2013 sweepstakes, the sponsoring vendor was Decorative Panels International (DPI).
Even though Johnston was the lucky winner of the sweepstakes, he said his wife will be the one who gets to drive the new Charger. He said she drives an early-2000s Ford Taurus with more miles than his truck, so she needs the new car.
“It is very exciting,” Alexia said.
Menards’ shoppers can enter to win the next vehicle by signing up at any Menards store location.