THIS is the man who waited 15 hours outside the drive-thru at the new Tim Hortons restaurant in Gemini 8.

Craig Nicholas arrived at the former Frankie and Benny’s venue just before 4pm on Thursday and waited until 7am yesterday morning, Friday for it to open.

His prize was that he now has a card enabling him free drinks all year round. It is worth around £3,100.

Two men also waiting outside the restaurant also won the prize.

And Craig is pleased to receive the reward for his patience.

He said: “It is a really good offer.”

“We’ve loved Tim Hortons for years but it’s growing and it’s definitely going to be one of the top coffee places I think. We wouldn’t have gone anywhere else, it’s brilliant.

“I decided when we first found out about the offer that we would come around 4pm and if someone was here, I would leave it but I was the first person here.”

Free breakfasts were also given away to the first 100 customers. Craig has been able to see those coming and going first-hand across the night.

“At first, quite a few people turned up including the police at 2am and I don’t think they knew what was going on at Tim Hortons,” added Craig.

“People have been really nice and it has been really straightforward.

“Throughout the night cars have been turning up to see if anyone was in the queue but it got really busy around 5am – 5.30am and we saw a lot more cars turning up.”


The cars in the queue at 7am

The cars in the queue at 7am

Craig’s love for Tim Hortons came after a spell living in Canada for 12 months in 2015 – where the food and coffee giant originated.

He continued: “Now we have Tim Hortons over here which is brilliant for us.

“I’m glad they are opening more and more places. Manchester has one and Warrington has two, it’s perfect.”

And the former driver can draw on his previous working experience to help him in the waiting game.

“It does pass really quick. I used to drive for a living so it’s pretty straightforward.

“I started struggling about 3 or 4am this morning. I started getting really cold but it is straightforward really.

“It has been good.”

The restaurant is open 6am – 11pm seven days per week.