News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 2, 2013

Living United, ‘dumb luck’ lead to new car

Retired chemistry prof wins 2012 Chevrolet Sonic LS

Brian Boyce
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Perhaps magnetic fields were at play as a retired professor drew the lucky key to a new car.

Seelyville resident William Trinler proved to be the winner Friday in a United Way of the Wabash Valley fundraising contest with a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic LS Sedan at stake. Valued at $14,675, the car was donated as a prize by Terre Haute Chevrolet.

The 83-year-old retired chemistry professor from Indiana State University denied any magic was involved in the drawing, where he and two other contestants pulled out keys to vehicles, with only one fitting the Sonic.

“Through no accomplishments of our own, I can assure you. Dumb luck,” he chuckled, offering a bow to a small crowd inside the dealership.

The names of Trinler, Jim Bosley and Matt Blair were randomly drawn from a pool of 3,000 new donors and contributors who had increased their donation to the United Way by $50 or more, said Troy Fears, the organization’s executive director.

All three wore neon green “Live United” for the key drawing, with Blair, an employee of Terre Haute Savings Bank, going first, followed by Bosley, an employee of First Financial Bank, then Trinler. But the first two keys proved invalid to the Sonic, and it was ultimately Trinler’s which started the car.

Blair, who received a free auto detailing as a consolation prize, said the event was fun as he thanked Terre Haute Chevrolet and the United Way.

“It’s good to give back and help out in the community,” he said.

Brian Boyce can be reached a 812-231-4253 or