Winning Starbucks For Life is a Lesson in Checking Receipts


They’re crumpled, tossed in the garbage, pitched into a recycle bin, stuffed into jacket pockets, or shoved into a bag to shred. More often than not, they’re rejected.

“Would you like your receipt?” “No thanks.”

Starla has learned to pay attention to receipts. She is a staff information systems analyst for the California Department of Corrections and a regular customer of a Starbucks in Sacramento. On a store visit to pick up her usual order – a venti-extra-hot-nonfat-no-whip-mocha– Starla’s barista encouraged her to take the receipt which included a code for a chance to win in Starbucks® It’s a Wonderful Card Ultimate Giveaway.

Days later, Starla found the crinkled receipts in her pocket. After entering the code online, she received an email notification that she was a finalist for the grand prize. A week later it was confirmed; she’d won Starbucks For Life.

During the past holiday season (between Dec. 2, 2014 and Jan. 5, 2015) Starbucks offered 10 U. S. customers the chance to win Starbucks For Life – one free beverage or food item from participating stores for 30 years, worth an estimated $54,000. In addition, customers who paid for their purchases using a Starbucks Card or their Starbucks® mobile app were eligible to win one of 482,000 instant prizes.

Over a 31 day period, more than 2.3 million customers entered.

The process of verifying the Starbucks For Life winners is complete, and each has received a hammered 10K gold card engraved with his or her name.

“I didn’t believe that I won. It’s so hard to believe and mind blowing,” Starla said. “Even my mom wouldn’t believe me until I showed her my gold Starbucks card.”

Starbucks For Life winners are from California, Florida, Oregon, Texas, Missouri, Ohio and Illinois.

Terri, a mother of two and a retired state government employee from Ohio, was notified she was a Starbucks For Life winner as she was picking her daughter from college.

“Could this be real?” she wondered.

“I have never won anything and I told my daughters that it is just incredible to win something like this,” said Terri. “I like to treat people, so when I get my card I will bring my mom and daughters to Starbucks.”

Dave, who helps manage a state park in Illinois, said he was cautious when first notified of the prize.

“I asked my wife to check a couple of times to make sure the email was real,” he said. “It’s real and this is truly amazing. Winning Starbucks For Life gives me the opportunity to share this with others.”

Other winners who’ve shared their stories with us include Steven and Jim, Mary and Larry. Read more about the design of the 10K gold cards each Starbucks For Life winner has received, including an additional three people in Canada and one in the U.K. – all winners of the most exclusive gift card Starbucks has ever created.

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Coffee & Connection: Stories from Starbucks Origin Experience 2024 in Costa Rica