Extraordinary Event in My Ordinary Life: I Won a Car

Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Beetle (Photo credit: Karen Roe)

When I was 16, I had worked at a women’s retail shop, that offered bumper stickers to promote the rock radio station WKTK in Baltimore.  I had placed a bumper sticker on my father’s Chevrolet station wagon, that I drove daily.

The bumper stickers were part of a contest that had employees from WKTK drive around the Baltimore area writing down license plate numbers from cars that displayed the WKTK sticker. I didn’t pay much attention to the contest because I knew that I wouldn’t win. During the summer of 1973, they had selected one license number per week and announced it over the radio. If the owner of that license number called in, they won a stereo or other music-related prize. I never listened for my license number.

In the fall of 1973, WKTK awarded the grand prize by drawing a name at an Elton John concert. They drew my father’s name. 

WKTK contacted him the next day, and my father called me at school and told me that I had won a car.

The car was bright orange with WKTK and yellow beetles and butterflies painted on the hood, sides, and back. You couldn’t miss it! 

However, I had been driving a Pontiac Firebird, that I loved, that my parents had purchased for me early in the summer, and I was working to pay for a windshield wiper a week. 

The Volkswagon was worth about $2,800.00., and after driving it for a few months, I suggested that my parents sell it.  I asked them to keep the money, but they had to tell everyone that I paid for my Firebird. It was a win-win!