We didn't see it on TV, but "The Tims" - Tim Hague Sr. and Jr. - have some Toronto kids to partly thank for their win in the first Amazing Race Canada.
The Winnipeg father and son, who won a $250,000 cash prize, plus two Corvettes and round-the-world air tickets, had spent a disastrous 90 minutes in the finale at the Toronto Zoo, looking for a clue that everyone else found before them.
The clue was in the Panda exhibit. "The (first) clue told us the next clue would not be found in an animal enclosure. And we made the mistake of including exhibits with enclosures," the 48-year-old Tim Sr. said Tuesday in a press conference call.
"Finally, we had walked all over the zoo. Our presence had become known. The other teams had come and gone, and people were talking about it.
"And some little kids came along and said, 'Guys, the clue's in the pandas.' So we went to the pandas."
They made up lost time when they arrived at the Toronto Brickworks, where Tim Sr. aced the challenge of matching up provinces on a map with their flags and flowers.
Competitors Vanessa and Celina and Cory and Jody got kudos from the Tims. "(Afghan war vet) Jody has two prosthetics. If we're completely honest, when we realized that, we did not see them in the finals," Tim Jr. said. "And they proved us wrong every step of the way. Jody is a fighter, he is a warrior, and just a fantastic guy.
"And the girls, oh my goodness, the girls. Every time we turned around, there they were."
Self-professed students of the game, the Tims were forewarned about the map by Tim Sr.'s wife.
"That's what saved us, the fact that my wife knew that flowers and flags were often used in the American one. She advised us to be looking at that coming in."
The Hagues have the money earmarked. Tim Jr.'s wife is enrolled in law school at the University of New Brunswick. "For us to both come out of school debt free is huge. And then a house, we're very fortunate now to have some money saved up."
The cars will be put away for the Winnipeg winter. After that? "I've got three kids," Tim Sr. said. "I could use a new minivan before I need a Corvette."
His son added, "This is like a 23 year old guy's dream. On the other hand, selling that one car pays my wife's tuition for the next four years. It'll be a decision we make down the road."
As for the trips, Sr. will visit France with his younger children, and Jr. and his wife are looking at Tahiti.
But the elder Tim, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease three years ago (and had difficulty in some Amazing Race Canada challenges because of it), looks forward to a new role. He wants his win to be "a source of hope for people who sometimes get lost in the dark with chronic disease.
"As much as I enjoy the money, the cars, the trips, if we can take this to a personal level where we help people, that would be the most meaningful thing for me."
And then there was the chance to see the country, from B.C. to the Yukon to Nunavut to Newfoundland. "We as Canadians are unfortunately ignorant about our own country, myself included before we made this trip," said Tim Jr.
"I'll flesh that out by saying I know what boat is on the dime now," his dad added.