Every year, 7-Eleven stores across the country celebrate their birthday with Free Slurpee Day. They give away thousands of small Slurpees, no purchase required, no strings attached. That’s like celebrating your birthday by buying your thousand best friends a drink instead of expecting they buy you one!
So while you’re waiting in that intensely long line to gulp down your free Slurpee, check out these facts you never knew about the convenience store giant.
1. 7-Eleven Turns 90 This Year
7-Eleven started in 1927 in Dallas, Texas, when Joe Thompson started to think outside the icebox.
He worked for the Southland Ice Company and helped Dallas residents skip the grocery store by stocking a few staple items. He started selling eggs, milk, and bread and kept them cold on the company’s ice.
2. Their Original Name Was Tote-m Store
After Thompson bought the ice company, he opened several convenience stores all over Texas. The busiest store had a souvenir totem pole posted out front.
It’s debated whether it was this pole or the fact that the customers “toted” away their purchases, but the company officially became Tote-m Store. In 1946, they changed their store hours to 7am-11-pm and became “7-Eleven.”
3. Texas Football is Responsible for Their 24/7 Hours
In the 1960s, a late-night game at the University of Texas kept an Austin store open all night. The post-game business was so successful, the location changed its hours to 24-hours every weekend.
Business was booming, and stores outside Texas Christian University and Southern Methodist University were inspired to expand their hours. By 1975 two-thirds of stores were open 24/7.
4. You Can Pay Your Taxes There
There are so many 7-Elevens that the IRS actually lets you pay your taxes, in cash, in locations in 34 states. Hopefully, you won’t get a brain freeze sipping on that Slurpee and pay the wrong amount!
5. They Have Their Own Wine Label
You can find Yosemite Road, their proprietary wines, at select 7-Elevens. It’s mostly sold in Japan, but if you can find it in the United States, it sells for $3.99 a bottle.
6. 7-Eleven Didn’t Invent the Slurpee
Believe it or not, a Dairy Queen employee invented the iconic drink. The ice cream maker couldn’t keep his soda cold, so he put it in the freezer to keep it cool and it became slushy. Customer’s loved it!
In 1965, the drink concept was licensed to 7-Eleven and was named the Slurpee after the sound it makes when sipping it through a straw.
7. July 11th is Free Slurpee Day
To celebrate their birthday, 7-Eleven gives away free small Slurpees. 7-Eleven corporate offices estimate they give away about 500,000 gallons of Slurpees each year!
8. In Oklahoma, They Don’t Have Slurpees
Well, they don’t call them that, anyway! The franchise favorite drink is called “Icy Drink.” I wonder if they celebrate Free Icy Drink Day?
9. You Can Get Some Weird Slurpee Flavors
In addition to common flavors like frozen Cherry, Coca-Cola, and Mountain Dew, you can find some strange flavors out there.
Locations are constantly creating new specialty flavors, like cotton candy, Sour Patch Watermelon, or Blue Woo Hoo! Vanilla (for the Simpsons movie).
10. 7-Eleven Sells More Coffee Than Anything
You might think that Slurpees are their number one selling item, but they sell 1.1 million cups of coffee every day.
That’s more than 10,000 pots of coffee an hour … 24 hours … 365 days a year!