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Food & Wine How Starbucks’ coffee for life contest takes a cue from Willy Wonka (sort of)

This Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, photo shows four limited-time Starbucks coffee drinks, clockwise from left, the Gingerbread Latte, the Eggnog Latte, the Peppermint Mocha, and the new Chestnut Praline Latte, at a Starbucks store in Seattle.

Ted S. Warren/AP

Willy Wonka has been put in charge of Starbucks. Not really, but the coffee giant seems to be taking tips from Roald Dahl's famous candy-man for the company's newest promotion.

Lucky kids needed to find a golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Starbucks is dangling golden gift cards that will give winners free products for the next 30 years.

Officially called "Starbucks for Life," the promotion will see 14 people from around the world win cards made of 10-karat hammered gold, each with an estimated retail value of $5,000 (U.S.). The estimated retail value of the prize, which will allow winners to get one free food or beverage item every day through to 2045 stands at $54,000, CTV News reports.

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Of the 14 winners, 10 will be selected from the United States, one from Britain and three from Canada.

And how will winners be selected, you want to know? Don't go looking for golden cards in chocolate bars. Like so many other prizes, this one has a digital catch.

When you pay using the company's mobile app or a registered gift card, you will be given a sweepstakes code that can be entered online until the contest ends Jan. 5.

Willy Wonka never had to bother with marketing ploys to entice people to use his app, but he lived in an earlier time. Besides, with a prize as big as this, many people will surely be happy to do whatever it takes.

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