Don Nielson was just about to take his wife to breakfast on his birthday last month when he got an unusual phone call.
“They said, ‘You’ve won a truck,’” said Nielson, 73, a Grantsville resident. “I about hung up on the guy. I thought it was a scam.”
But Nielson had, in fact, won a shiny new Chevrolet pickup truck as part of Cabela’s 50 Years/50 Trucks Sweepstakes celebrating the outdoor outfitter’s 50th year in business.
During the course of 2011, entries were collected and 50 pickups, as well as various quantities of other prizes, were given away. Nielson said he did not know what the contest was, let alone that he had entered it, but with each swipe of his Cabela’s credit card his name had been entered into the drawing. Nielson’s name was drawn on Dec. 28 in the ninth of 10 drawings.
He said it took a few days, several phone calls and a bit of research for convince him his win was legitimate.
“At first I thought, yeah, another trip to Cancun, and all you have to do is send $1,000, right?” he said. “But then I thought, no, maybe I’d better hear him out. And it wasn’t a scam.”
The truck had to be delivered to a Chevrolet dealer, and the company initially wanted to send it to a dealership on the Wasatch Front, he said, but he wanted it delivered to Quality Chevrolet in Tooele instead.
“I wanted it to be local,” he said.
As the blue Chevrolet Silverado 2500 — valued at $37,385 — rolled into the lot, Nielson broke into a wide grin.
“Isn’t that a nice-looking truck?” he said. “I like it. Wouldn’t you?”
Nielson is not a stranger to pickup trucks. Nine months ago, he bought a Dodge Ram 2500 pickup from Quality, which he said has been very useful. Still, though the seven-year-old Dodge has been nice, it will be sold to pay for the taxes and fees associated with the new Chevrolet, he said.
Before the Dodge goes, though, Nielson will take off the bed’s shell and running board for use on the Chevrolet. Because the new truck is fairly high off the ground, the running board will make it much easier for Nielson and his wife, Norma, to get in and out.
Norma Nielson said trying to figure out whether the prize was legitimate or not was a nightmare, but the windfall is exciting now that they know it is real.
“If you answered the phone and someone said, ‘You won a truck,’ you’d say, ‘You bad liar,’” she said. “It just doesn’t happen. Not with a $37,000 truck.”
With the truck on the lot and ready to drive away, all that was left for Nielson to do was pay for license and registration.
“Notice which card I’m using,” he said, handing over his Cabela’s card to pay for the licensing fees. “Isn’t this a great birthday present?”