Starbucks giving away $1.6M in prizes, coffee for life in holiday contest

Starbucks will give out $1.6 million in prizes as part of its fourth annual “Starbucks for Life” holiday contest, the coffeehouse chain said Tuesday.

Members of the chain’s loyalty program, Starbucks Rewards, can enter the contest by using their accounts to make a “qualifying purchase” of a Starbucks menu item. Each purchase earns either a game piece that applies to the contest or an instant prize.

Five customers will earn the grand prize of “Starbucks for life,” or a daily credit for one food or drink item for 30 years. The grand prize alone has a retail value of $56,575. Other customers will win free Starbucks for a year, 6 months, or 3 months, among other prizes.

The main contest runs from Nov. 27 to Dec. 31. A smaller version of the contest, 30 Days of Starbucks, is available to customers who aren’t members of the Starbucks Rewards program.

Aside from the giveaways, Starbucks also unveiled a holiday-themed addition to its menu, the Juniper Latte, which joins other festive offerings such as the Chestnut Praline Latte and the Gingerbread Latte.

Starbucks disclosed last June that its loyalty program had 15 million active members, up 13 percent compared to the previous year.

Financial rewards, along with more creative specialty drinks, are a sign of what is becoming a more competitive push as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts compete to win and retain more coffee customers.