How to get free Little Caesars pizza lunch after March Madness upset

  • Mar. 20, 2018 3:14 p.m.

Within the corporate offices at Little Caesars, the prospect of giving away a free lunch to millions of Americans may not prove as daunting as it first appears.

That’s because the cost of providing free pizza and a drink across the country as part of a promotion tied to the NCAA college basketball tournament also brings with it huge gains in publicity — or so Little Caesars expects.

For the past few years, Detroit-based Little Caesars has offered a free lunch combo — four deep-dish pepperoni pizza slices and a 20-ounce drink — if a 16-seed team beat a No. 1-seed team in the annual NCAA college basketball tournament.

It seemed like the longest of long shots. It had never happened before.

But last Friday it did, when lowly University of Maryland, Baltimore County, eliminated mighty No. 1 seed Virginia in a stunning 74-54 upset.

So Little Caesars outlets across the nation will be gearing up for a swarm of customers April 2 when the lunch giveaway takes place.

“We were pretty surprised,” Jill Proctor, a spokeswoman for Little Caesars, said Monday. But she added, “We wouldn’t do the promotion if we didn’t think there was some chance it would happen someday, so I guess why not this year?”

Little Caesars isn’t saying what the promotion will cost or whether the company took out insurance to cover any potential loss. But Proctor said the company is looking at the bright side — the huge amount of publicity the giveaway could generate.

“We’re thrilled that it happened actually because we’re really excited for all the hype and enthusiasm that this has generated for our brand,” she said. “A lot of people, even though they know about Little Caesars, they don’t know about our lunch combo as much as we’d like them to. So we’re hoping to generate a little more exposure for this lunch deal.”

The rules are strict: The giveaway happens only between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Monday, April 2, the day of the NCAA college basketball championship game. The limit is one per family. Most but perhaps not all Little Caesars outlets will participate, so it’s a good idea to call ahead to check with a specific outlet.

And you need to be in line and have placed your order by 1 p.m. to get the free combo. Oh, and it’s “while supplies last.” That’s another reason to get there early and get in line.

Promotional giveaways are common tying a sporting event to a consumer product, with various outlets offering free fries or drinks if a local team hits home runs or throws a number of strikeouts. But major nationwide promotions like the Little Caesars giveaway are more rare.

In 2014, Detroit-based Quicken Loans teamed up with billionaire Warren Buffett to offer a $1 billion to anyone who achieved a perfect bracket in the NCAA tournament — picking the winner of every single game. Even with millions of entries, nobody came close to winning.

So the Little Caesars giveaway may represent a first.

“This is the biggest one I’ve ever heard of,” Proctor said. “I could be mistaken or be missing something, but giving free lunch away to everyone in America is kind of a big deal.”

Just Posted

The Latest: UK leader congratulates royals on birth of son

LONDON — The Latest on the royal baby birth: 1:50 p.m. British… Continue reading

Key events in the life of William, Kate and their family

LONDON — The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth Monday to a baby… Continue reading

Broncos families surprised obituaries are on website selling services

Some families of Humboldt Broncos bus crash victims are surprised to learn… Continue reading

‘It’s limitless:’ Paralyzed toddler moves from homemade wheelchair to treadmill

EDMONTON — Evelyn Moore sings the alphabet song as her tiny running… Continue reading

Shania Twain apologizes for saying she would have voted for Donald Trump

Shania Twain is apologizing after telling a British newspaper that she would… Continue reading

Replay Red Deer April 22, 2018

Watch weekly news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Crosby, Penguins keep 3rd straight championship in sight

PHILADELPHIA — Sidney Crosby tormented the Flyers just as he has from… Continue reading

29-year-old chef dies after collapsing at London Marathon

London Marathon organizers say a 29-year-old man died after collapsing near the… Continue reading

Greece beats budget target as it looks to post-bailout era

ATHENS, Greece — Greece has beaten its budget targets for a third… Continue reading

Etiquette and protocol highlights for royal wedding guests

NEW YORK — Grab those nude stockings, ladies. You’ll be at a… Continue reading

Federal environment minister defends BP Canada’s plans to drill in N.S.

HALIFAX — Federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna is defending… Continue reading

Facebook’s privacy changes look different for Europeans and Americans

All 2.2 billion people who use Facebook will soon see changes to… Continue reading

Vermont wants to turn tourists into workers

Vermont has forest trails, yoga retreats, breweries galore – and a labor… Continue reading

Trump leading on North Korea, says envoy to Canada as G7 ministers meet

TORONTO — Donald Trump’s envoy to Canada says her president is leading… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month