No April fool: Woman risks humiliation to score free BMW

TIANNA Marsh was getting stares and toots from other people on Auckland's motorway for all the right reasons.

Ms Marsh was driving her new BMW home from Newmarket to Riverhead, after reading an ad she thought was an April Fools' Day prank and taking a chance.

Watch Tianna pick up her surprise gift in video below.

The ad said the first person to arrive at the Newmarket BMW dealership with the ad in hand and ask for Tom would trade in their current vehicle for a brand new BMW.


She arrived at the Newmarket BMW dealership in her 15-year old Nissan Avenir shortly after 5am, having seen the ad on the front page on the New Zealand Herald when she woke.

The ad at the bottom of the front page of the NZ Herald on April 1.
The ad at the bottom of the front page of the NZ Herald on April 1.

The ad had fooled both her and friend Amy, but the fear of being made a fool wasn't enough to deter them.

"We thought why not be spontaneous and give it a go.

"We completely thought it wasn't real. We thought we could go and have a look anyway, we'd be kicking ourselves if we didn't."


When they arrived at the dealership a security guard was outside and just two staff members, but nobody else.

"[The security guard] had no clue what was going on either... they gave nothing away whatsoever, it made it all the more nerve-wracking for me and my friend Amy.

"We were standing there and thinking 'are we going to get a little matchbox car?'"

Ms Marsh said she still didn't have many words to describe the feeling when she realised it was no joke, and the brand new BMW 1 Series, worth about $50,000, was hers to keep.

"I'm overwhelmed and overly happy," she said.

Ms Marsh said motorists were tooting and waving at her in her new car with the personalised plate NOF00L as she drove home to Riverhead yesterday.

"News travels very fast," she said.


She said she went home and showed her family, who were usually a talkative bunch, but were lost for words last night.

She thought her new car was "amazing".

"I've been told by a few people that it suits me, which is nice to hear."

BMW spokesman Ed Finn said the double bluff was the biggest April Fool's Day joke they'd run.

"The ad was intentionally vague and definitely appeared too good to be true, but in this case we wanted to turn the tables and reward the first person who was willing to take the chance."

Mr Finn said Ms Marsh's old Avenir was now on display at the BMW Mt Wellington head office and would be put up for sale or auction on TradeMe later today.

Money from selling the old Nissan would be donated to GoBabyGo, a charity that provided modified, ride-on cars to young disabled kids. The modified small electric vehicles help disabled children move around independently.