Local couple wins Camaro convertibleWORTHINGTON — Larry and Anne Doeden still get the giggles when they tell the story behind the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro convertible parked in the driveway of their Worthington home.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Larry and Anne Doeden still get the giggles when they tell the story behind the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro convertible parked in the driveway of their Worthington home.
Since its arrival last Thursday, the white car with black racing stripes has been somewhat of a spectacle in the neighborhood. And, when the Doedens go for a cruise around Lake Okabena with the top down, they feel like teenagers all over again.
“I probably never would have bought one unless, as I got older, I got more foolish or something,” Larry said with a grin Monday morning, a little more than a week after he won the car playing a slot machine at Grand Falls Casino near Inwood, Iowa.
The casino has an ongoing promotion to give away eight cars, Although both Anne and Larry’s names have been selected to go into the box for the Sunday drawings, the Camaro wasn’t one of the options.
It was featured, instead, in a special area of the casino —parked atop a rotating platform and surrounded below by progressive-type slot machines. Larry had been playing on machine No. 20 for less than 10 minutes on July 1 when all of the bells and whistles started chiming and a sign flashed: Car Winner.
“I didn’t even realize it at first, and then somebody said, ‘You won the car,’” Larry recalled. “I had no idea it was me. I said, ‘Yeah right!’ And then the people that run the casino came and said, ‘You just won the car.’”
Larry’s first reaction was to find his wife, who was sitting with her sister-in-law Norma, in another area of the casino. The casino worker stood by the winning machine as he did so.
“I told the lady that worked the casino floor, ‘Now, don’t let ’em take my spot,’” he said with a laugh.
Larry found Anne, Norma and his brother, Roger, and brought them all back to the flashing lights.
“It was a shock that didn’t settle in right away,” Larry said. “I think we came home in a daze.”
“(Roger and Norma) said we giggled all the way home,” Anne added.
Part of their reason for giggling was a comment overheard after all the bells and whistles sounded.
“There was a comment in the background after I won it that somebody said, ‘What’s that old gray-haired guy want a convertible for?’” Larry said, still laughing about the comment. “If it was a lady or a man, I’m not sure.”
The Doedens were told they could keep the car or make arrangements with the dealer to buy it back.
“We opted to keep it,” Larry said. “It’s summertime and we’re going to have some fun and enjoy it.”
Larry, who farms with Roger outside of town, has never owned a brand new car before, much less a Camaro convertible.
“We’ve had new tractors before, but cars we usually bought used,” he said.
As for the Camaro, “It really didn’t soak in until we went to pick it up and I could put my hands on the steering wheel,” Larry said. “The casino people were really happy for me, too. I got a lot of hugs.”
Since driving the car home last Thursday, the Doedens have had to learn about all of the extras that came with the car, like the navigation system, XM satellite radio and the camera in the rear-view mirror that shows what is behind the car.
“It only takes about 20 seconds to put the top down,” Larry added with a grin.
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.