Let’s think of a hypothetical situation here: Suddenly you’re in a charitable mood and decided to setup a charity that will teach children how to drive a manual. “Wow, what an honorable cause! You should be a saint!” exclaimed all gearheads everywhere. To help raise money for this charity, you decided to raffle off a 1994 Toyota Supra Twin Turbo to help raise some money. Tickets for the raffle were sold and everyone bought in to experience the chance of owning a rare Japanese sportscar. When it came time to randomly choose a winner, you find that your spouse has won the car! “Amazing! I can’t believe this happened!” said your spouse. And everyone said the same thing, but probably in a very different tone.
This is exactly what happened at Toyota of Rockwall located in Texas. They held a raffle to benefit “The Genesis Center of Kaufman County,” a non-profit organization committed to provide immediate safety and shelter, along with victim care services, for domestic violence. For a $20 raffle ticket (or 6 tickets for $100), you get a chance to win a highly coveted 2JZ GTE attached to completely refurbished 1994 Toyota Supra:
This 1994 Toyota Supra Twin Turbo with only 144,209 miles is up for grabs! The raffle will be held at Toyota of Rockwall on Friday, April 14, 2017. Refreshments will be served at 6:30pm and the drawing will be at 7pm. 100% of the proceeds will benefit The Genesis Center of Kaufman County. Your chance of winning is HIGH! The Supra will be given away regardless of the amount of tickets sold.
The Supra is complete refurbished and has an estimated value of $30,000. See dealer for details.
The Supra raffle was held at the dealership in front of a large crowd, and also broadcast on Facebook Live. The name pulled out from the container full of random names was Rebecca Rawl, and everyone was happy!
However, thanks to a keen and investigative person on Facebook, they dug a little deeper and posted this on Toyota of Rockwall’s page:
Just throwing this out there, but the winner of the raffle for the Toyota Supra probably shouldn’t be the Toyota of Rockwall’s General Manager’s WIFE!!! Usually family of employees are not eligible for these types of things like sweepstakes’s, raffles, or giveaways to avoid any possible impropriety. Just saying…
Anyone in their right minds would also think that something was off. That person eventually posted that comment on several Toyota of Rockwall’s posts and was later blocked from their Facebook page and removed all of his postings. So he started some digging:
All facts that can’t be disputed!
1. The confirmed sole winning ticket holder that won the car was named as Rebecca Rawls on Toyota of Rockwall’s FB page and Genesis Charities page as well. However, they both misspelled her name as Rebecca Rawl (no s) on both pages. We have confirmed that it is indeed his spouse.
2. Her Husband Danny Rawls is the General Sales Manager for Toyota of Rockwall which promoted the event at their dealership and had the car on their floor at some point.
3. Danny is also the owner of a PDR company that sponsored the raffle.
4. Danny’s name is listed as the seller on the eBay for sale ad.
5. Money breakdown
4,500 tickets sold @ $20 (+ buy 5 get 1 free offer) max raffle dollars received = $90k.
They spent $17k refurbishing the car.
$90k-$17k= ~$73k net profit + the money received for the auction sale of the car since that is now promised to be donated as well.
Once the rest of the internet heard about this, a firestorm raged on. People went to the dealership’s Facebook page, called them scammers and plunged the dealership’s ratings from 4.5 to under 2.0 overnight. In response to the internet community picking up their pitchforks the general manager went on to respond with this:
Since this PR nightmare occurred, the Toyota of Rockwall’s Facebook page was taken down. Any attempts to look for this on Facebook results in news stories covering this debacle and an actual Facebook page called “Toyota of Rockwall = Scammers.”
The general manager’s wife winning the Supra might be a complete accident or a highly fabricated scam. Regardless, this is the reason why employees and close relatives should not be eligible to participate in giveaways like this one. The ensuing fallout and terrible publicity from this entire thing might just be enough to bring down the dealership itself.