Last week was exciting for Chris Buzzell, but it had nothing to do with the Christmas holidays.
The Martinez man picked up what he's waited nearly four months to receive -- a free 2010 Chevrolet Camaro.
"It is really, really cool," Buzzell said, admiring the sporty coupe he picked up at an Edgefield, S.C., dealership Dec. 21.
Buzzell was one of six people nationwide to win one of the special red jewel tint "Dr Pepper" cars in a special six-week promotion by Dr Pepper and Hardee's.
The Rhodes Financial Services Web graphic designer said he was surprised to find himself a winner in July, but had to wait through special advertising and production delays before picking up his prize.
"It is almost four months. That's a long time," Buzzell said. "I'd have had it the week I won it, if it were up to me."
Although he had already eaten, Buzzell said he couldn't shake a hankering for one of his favorite combinations -- a Hardee's biscuit and orange juice -- on that July day.
Running late, Buzzell drove into the Evans Hardee's on Washington Road, where no one was in the drive-through.
"I order my food and I accidentally ordered a large Dr Pepper instead of ordering my normal orange juice," Buzzell said. "It was all the Lord that aligned everything perfectly for me."
Though Buzzell didn't know a contest was going on, he enjoyed his meal, peeled the tab earning a free order of fries and noticed the Camaro pictured on the cup. He went to the Web site and entered the code from the peel-off tab.
"Fireworks came up and said I was a winner," Buzzell said.
Buzzell said his new car, replacing his 1998 Ford Explorer, has all the options except for a sunroof. His 6-foot-6 frame easily fits into the driver's seat.
He will have to pay about $3,500 in federal taxes but said it is worth it.
"It's got that new car smell. You've got to love that," Buzzell said.
He said the four-month wait worked out perfectly. Buzzell and his wife, who are planning to sell their home, opted to purchase hardwood floors instead of Christmas gifts for each other.
"This is kind of like a Christmas present to me," Buzzell said. "We're getting the bigger house for (my wife), so I get a car."
Buzzell said he's eager to pass along his Explorer to a family in need.
"As great as it is to win a car, I'm totally excited to be able to give away my car," Buzzell said. "I figured the Lord blessed me, and I want to be a blessing to somebody else."
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