Earlier this year, AOL Autos announced we'd be giving away a 2012 MINI Countryman as the first part of a new program in we regularly rewards readers for their loyalty and steady readership. Here are the results of the MINI giveaway:

Our inaugural winner, chosen at random, is a Commerce Township, Mich. resident who is a 19-year-old pre-med student at Michigan State University. Jasneet, who asked that we not use her last name, had been using the family's Chrysler 200 to driver back and forth to school. But now she's hoping her new wheels can take her through medical school and beyond.

How did Jasneet find out she won? Her little brother opened the e-mail, called her and said, "Hey guess what, I think we won a car." Jasneet says she was really excited, of course, and immediately called her best friends and family. "I was overwhelmed at first, and as time went on, and it became more real, I have just become more and more excited."

So were we. "I was flabbergasted to find that, with all the entries from all over the country, our winner lives 20 miles from our editorial offices," said AOL Autos editor in chief David Kiley, who noted there were more than 39,000 entries.

We wish Jasneet many safe miles in her new Countryman, courtesy of AOL Autos. And we look forward to giving away a lot more cars and auto accessories, informing our readers about new and used cars and engaging them in our passion for cars and driving.

More about the contest

AOL Autos chose the MINI Countryman for two reasons. For a year, AOL Autos and its sister site, Autoblog, have been driving a MINI Countryman as a long-term test vehicle. "We thought it made a lot of sense to involve our readers in a car we had for a year and were very familiar with," said Kiley. The second reason was that MINI USA is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the U.S. this year, and planned a cross-country rally, MINI Takes The States, which kicked off in New Jersey on July 4 and finished in Los Angeles on July 15.

AOL Autos' Kiley, senior editor Scott Burgess and assistant editor Colin Croughan covered the entire drive in a special 2012 MINI Countryman, traveling through 16 states and almost 4,000 miles. See the photo diary of the trip here.

We're planning more giveaways in the months ahead. So don't fret if you didn't win this time around. There's more to come.