Obscura Day 2017! Join our global celebration of exploration and discovery.
May 6

Motel Honors 16-Year-Old Coupon

The 10th night was finally free.

In September of the year 2000, railway worker Dennis Cowan got his first stamp on a bright yellow Super 8 Motel “10th Night Free” card, later accumulating eight more stamps and giving it to his daughter Kimberly Cooke as a present. 

Last week, over 16 years after that first stamp, Cooke finally received the coveted tenth—and a free night at the Brandon, Manitoba Super 8. (The CBC, if you’re wondering, seems to have rounded up the card’s age.)

The coupon completed a long, arduous journey before it finally achieved its life’s purpose. “My wife just carried it in her wallet for years,” Cooke’s husband Will told the CBC. “She’s probably bought 10 new wallets and transferred it 10 times.”

A different Super 8 Motel, in Montana.
A different Super 8 Motel, in Montana. David Schott/CC BY 2.0

It has even been kidnapped: in mid-2015, Cooke’s wallet was stolen, only to show up 10 months later in her mailbox, the punch card still hanging on inside. 

Last week, the Cookes finally had a chance to stay at the Super 8—which, after a small bit of hemming and hawing, honored the coupon. There, the couple presumably enjoyed ”Newly Renovated Rooms,” “Business Friendly Accommodations” and “Complimentary Breakfast.”

“It was great,” Will said.

So the next time you think about throwing that punch card away, think twice. It might be there when you need it.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to [email protected].