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Chipotle is giving away up to $1 million — but there's a catch

That’s a lot of burritos!
A Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. Restaurant Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Craving a burrito? Chipotle is giving away thousands of burritos, tacos and more during the NBA finals. Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Are you a burrito-loving basketball fan? Chipotle is offering hundreds of people a shot at scoring a free burrito — or any type of main dish — with its latest promotion.

Starting this Thursday, during the first game of the NBA finals, the fast-casual chain is planning its biggest promotion of the year. Chipotle says it plans to give away up to $1 million ... in burritos, tacos and more.

Chipotle Freeting
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.

Food freebies are always welcome but, like many of the chain's promotions, this one is pretty complicated. First, basketball fans need to be tuned into the NBA finals games (this year the Golden State Warriors are battling the Toronto Raptors) and pay close attention to the announcer. Every time the word "free" is mentioned — as in "free throw" or "free agent" — during coverage of the game, Chipotle will be "freeting" — a term the chain has coined that means live tweeting a unique code good for the chance to score some food.

After announcers say "free," the live keyword will be made available to Chipotle's followers, which they can then text to the number 888222. The chain says it will give away up to 500 burritos for each mention of "free" in the first half of the game, and up to 1,000 free burritos for each mention of "free" in the second half.

Compound words like “carefree,” “freeform,” “freestyle” or “freeway" don't count. Nor do simple words with "free" in them, like "freeze." The words also must be spoken by the game's official announcer, not during a commercial.

Only one freebie is allowed per person, or mobile number, while the promotion is active.

Those who win a freebie can use it to pay for a burrito, or any other regularly priced entree, through July 14. The promotion will also be limited to the first 20 on-air mentions of the word "free" during each of the final games.

Chipotle Burrito
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.

In addition to the "freeting" giveaway, burrito fans will also be able to take advantage of free delivery on Chipotle orders of $10 or more (up to $200) throughout the championships — which could extend through mid-June, if the series continues. Customers can score free delivery by using the Chipotle app, website or via Doordash.

While that extra spoonful of guac isn't free when you order a burrito in a store, Chipotle is hoping fans will be enticed by the idea of a full meal on the house.