CINCINNATI — No one was more surprised than Greg Barnes when his name was drawn from over 5,000 entries to win Great American Insurance Group’s “Big Rig Giveaway” at the Mid-America Trucking Show earlier this year.
With only a handful of years of driving experience under his belt, Barnes’ good fortune at Louisville was undeniably the highlight of his career when he walked away with a customized Volvo VNL 780, compliments of Great American’s Trucking Division.
Barnes, a company driver for Commonwealth Propane in LaGrange, Ky., attended the show with friends and completed an entry for the “Big Rig Giveaway” on a whim as he walked by Great American’s booth.
“Companies are always giving away free stuff at those things, so I figured, why not?” he said. Barnes wasn’t even present for the actual drawing, having wandered to the opposite corner of the huge Kentucky Expo Center to explore other exhibits and displays.
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“Is this for real?” he asked, when he answered a cell phone call from Scott Hendricks, Great American’s Trucking Division president.
It was only after speaking with last year’s winner that he was convinced.
“By that time, I wasn’t too far from totally hitting the floor,” Barnes said. “I was blown away. Totally speechless.”
As the winner of the Big Rig Giveaway, Barnes said he was delighted with the choices he has now.
Owning a rig was never a possibility before. Now that it’s a reality, it opens up a variety of new options for Barnes. “I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. I guess I’m still in shock!” he laughed. “It kind of feels like the sky’s the limit.”
The 2011 Big Rig Giveaway was the fifth time a winner has been chosen at random at MATS by Great American Insurance Group, which created the event to highlight the products and services of the company’s trucking division.
The first Giveaway, which debuted in 2007, featured a custom finished Freightliner. Subsequent contests included a Peterbilt, a Kenworth and a Volvo. The contest has drawn over 25,000 entries since it began.
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