Every year, Starbucks runs a contest for members of the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program. Buy a drink to earn virtual pieces with names like Swim Kitten and Sweaty Yeti, and if you get all of the characters, you'll win Starbucks for Life. The odds of winning are fairly small. According to Starbucks, only seven people—five in the United States and two in Canada—win the most coveted prize. But it is possible, and one Kansas woman is lucky enough to count herself among them. Kristen Coleman, a 33-year-old hairstylist and found out that she won free Starbucks for life after collecting the very rare Mochanut at 4 a.m., before meeting up with her running group. As she told The Wichita Eagle, while sipping on a pumpkin spice latte, naturally, "It doesn’t seem real, but then every day, it is real."
The prize is pretty straightforward: Coleman can get a free drink at Starbucks every day for the next 30 years. It isn't exactly for life, but it's not shabby. KAKE News in Kansas crunched the numbers and found that the estimated value of the prize is $54,000. Coleman told The Wichita Eagle that she visits her local Starbucks about twice a week, but now that she won Starbucks for life, she plans on hitting the store up daily even if she doesn't really want coffee. "I might still go through the drive-through to get something for the person in line behind me," she told the paper. "Why not?"
Since winning, Coleman has been working her way through the Starbucks menu rather than tethering herself down to a single favorite. And why not? As she told The Wichita Eagle, she figured her coffee consumption habits would have to change given the prize: "I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m going to have to start drinking real, grown-up coffee now instead of my regular coffee that has all that sugar.'"
Though the future looks bright for Coleman and her caffeine consumption, the situation is a little bit more dire for her husband. His go-to gift for his Starbucks obsessed wife was always a Starbucks gift card, but that seems like overkill at this point. No word on what he'll be getting her for Christmas this year, but it's dubious he'll be able to top the Santa at Starbucks.