Eleanor Evans could not believe her luck. The 70-year-old grandmother of 10 literally did not believe that the calls she was receiving from AutoTrader.com's Atlanta headquarters weren't some sort of mistake.
Evans, of Wilmer Alabama, a small town just outside of Mobile, said it wasn't until she contacted a dealer to use the $50,000 winnings to buy her new 2010 Ford Expedition that reality started to sink in. "I said to myself, 'I just know something's going to happen and this won't be real,'" she said, "When the dealer mentioned that an AutoTrader.com representative came by, that's when I started to believe it."
Evans was one of tens of thousands of sweepstakes participants who played the "Match It!" game online and at kiosks across the country at AutoTrader.com's auto show booths in the past several months. Although Evans had not attended any of the sponsored auto shows, she learned about the sweepstakes game from her niece and was immediately hooked on the memory-teasing game. "I liked to play pretty often and because I was on thyroid medication, I was having memory problems, so I enjoyed playing the game and did it every day," she said.
The car of Eleanor's dreams is a brand new 2010 Ford Expedition, which replaces her 2005 Expedition. "We looked into buying other cars, like a large sedan, but the back seat just didn't seem big enough for all the grandkids to fit since my daughter borrows our car to take groups of kids to soccer and church and the like," she said. "Also, I wanted to continue my relationship with the great service gals at Coastal Ford who have always been so courteous and efficient when I've taken my other Expedition in for service."
Marlon Sawyer, the dealer manager at Coastal Ford, was glad to hear that testimonial to their service department. "We have a great group here and make sure our customers are taken care of," he said.
Sawyer was very familiar with both the Evans family and AutoTrader.com. "I've sold Mr. Evans many vehicles in the past since they had a commercial business in the construction field for several years, and we've listed cars on AutoTrader.com for even longer," said Sawyer.
The Ford Expedition has received many improvements over that five-year period. Sawyer predicts that the family will be much happier and safer in this year’s model. "The car has seen tremendous change over five years. First, they are getting the EL version which is a longer wheel base, and there is a safety cage for the back seat passengers plus many technology changes and conveniences," he said.
Eleanor, a retired Administrative Assistant for the Alabama State Board of Health, is certainly happy with the entire process. She plans to use AutoTrader.com to sell their 2005 Expedition, and, like any good seller, Evans is honest about her car's condition. "It's five years old, has 45,000 miles and nothing is broken except a chip in the windshield," she said, "Oh, and it also will have a new battery and two tires soon."
For your own chance to win play the "Match It!" game online at www.autotrader.com/win.
No purchase necessary to win "Match-It" game. Must be 18 or older. Resident restrictions apply. See website for full Official Rules.