Starla Link one of 10 people in U.S. to win Starbucks for Life

By Don Chaddock, InsideCDCR editor

Much like fictional character Charlie Bucket finding the golden ticket in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Starla Link walked away as one of 10 U.S. Starbucks customers to win Starbucks For Life.

Starla Link, center, an employee of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, has won Starbucks For Life, one of 10 winners in the entire country.

Starla Link, center, an employee of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, has won Starbucks For Life, one of 10 winners in the entire country.

“I didn’t believe it. I didn’t think it was a real email,” she said. “Until I received multiple voicemails from the public relations department of Starbucks wanting to interview me and actually returned the call and spoke to a person in their PR, I just wasn’t sure it was real.”

She said it took a few days to sink in.

“So I was notified on Dec. 30 that I was a winner and I didn’t believe it until the afternoon of Dec. 31 when I received the calls and emails,” she said. “I was excited but even now I’m still trying to digest that I won something of this magnitude when the chances to win were so miniscule.”

She is a Staff Information Systems Analyst (Specialist) with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Office of Research in the Enterprise Data Management Branch.

“I provide analytics for the internal and external law enforcement stakeholders in the form of reports and offender listings,” she said.

For the next 30 years, Link will be able to walk into any participating Starbucks and order one free food or beverage item. She is due to receive her gold-plated, name-engraved Starbucks card in February.

The contest ended Jan. 5.

What is Starbucks For Life?

The contest randomly selected 10 U.S. winners who paid for their order using their Starbucks Card or Starbucks mobile app. There was one winner in the U.K. and three in Canada. There were also a total of 482,000 instant prizes for those who didn’t win the grand prize, according to the Starbucks website.

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