Thursday, June 14, 2012

How to win free Chick-fil-A for a year

This is a story all about how... I won free Chick-fil-A for one whole year.

Like all good stories, it started with coffee.

Specifically, it started with one of the most complicated drink orders I've ever had to relay to the fine baristas at Starbucks.

My friends, Nick and Steph, both former baristas themselves, have their orders specifically tailored to their taste so I had to get it down just right. And the coffee was vitally important to their endeavors that morning.

They had arrived by 6 a.m. for the First 100 event to celebrate the grand opening of the Chick-fil-A at San Mateo and Montgomery in Albuquerque. When you are among the first 100 people at a grand opening, you can win a year's worth of free meals if you stick it out all day and night until 6 a.m. the next day.

I thought they were absolutely crazy for doing it.

That is, until I heard that they still hadn't filled up all 100 slots and I might have a chance to still get in on the free food action.

Let's just cut to the chase. Of course I ended up doing it. I went home, packed my bags, loaded my electronics, and registered as Participant #67.

It was quite the spectacle: A cordoned off parking lot; a small tent city; kids playing water games; adults refreshing with sweet iced tea; participants lining up to receive their ration of Chick-fil-A for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

We found our own ways of keeping entertained while waiting for morning to come.

And then, with a bright and early 5:30 a.m. wake-up call, we assembled together in rows to receive our grand prize.

And then the big moment arrived as we were ushered in to receive our reward: 52 Chick-fil-A meal coupons.

Here's what it felt like walking in:

So how can you win yourself free Chick-fil-A for a year?

Find the nearest First 100 event on their website. It doesn't even have to be in your immediate area. We had tent neighbors from as far away as California come out for the event. Be prepared to spend a full day and night in a parking lot. Bring a tent, some games, a laptop and a good book.

And most importantly: Just have fun with it!

That's what I did. Take some friends with you. Make new ones while you're there. Doing that made the reward at the end that much more worth it.

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