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This article was published 5/7/2012 (3610 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
IT'S a big day for nine-year-old Aidan Pratt. It's the first day his mom is buying him a large Slurpee.
"I've grown up drinking them," says his mother, Kristina Pratt, three Slurpees in hand for the rest of her family. "We just like them because they're cold and cheap."
Once again, Manitoba has slurped its way to being crowned the Slurpee capital of the world for the 13th year, finishing ahead of second-place Calgary and third-place Detroit.
"Manitoba definitely has an appreciation for the best of cold things," says Clare Hamilton-Eddy, spokeswoman for 7-Eleven, where the slushy drinks are sold. "In Manitoba, more than anywhere else, it's a part of life."
The designation is bestowed based on the average number of Slurpee cups sold per store in a region, where Manitoba came out on top out of 16 countries. The sheer amount of Slurpees Manitobans have consumed to be awarded such a prestigious title is not available.
The 7-Eleven at the corner of Ness Avenue and Sturgeon Road sold the most Slurpees in the city, and has been the leader for about the last five years, manager Ali Mirza says.
"There's no flavour we've brought in that people don't like," he laughs, adding Dr. Pepper, Pepsi and grape are the most popular. "It makes us feel proud that we have sold the most."
The first time Sharilyn Olinyk's daughter, Abbey, had a Slurpee, she was 12 weeks old.
"My mother-in-law was feeding her Slurpee. She said they were wondering who was going to give her her first Slurpee," Olinyk says.
Abbey, now 16, small Pepsi Slurpee in hand, admits to indulging in the ice-cold treat sometimes twice a day in summer.
"They're cold and refreshing," she says.
But Hamilton-Eddy warns Manitobans to watch out for the runners-up and the emerging Slurpee markets around the word, such as Indonesia, which are vying for the crown.
"They're certainly creeping up on Manitoba," she says. "They should definitely be fighting to claim the title."
Aidan has his own reason why they're so popular here. "They're tasty," he says.
Next Wednesday, July 11 (or 7/11), the convenience-store chain will hand out free Slurpees between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., across the country in honour of the company's birthday, but only while the 7.11-ounce cups last.