Fruitvale man wins nationwide contest, headed to Super Bowl

Al Plamondon and son are about to experience the thrill of a lifetime with an all-expenses paid trip to Super Bowl 50.

A Fruitvale man and his son are about to experience the thrill of a lifetime, after winning an all-expenses-paid trip to Super Bowl 50 where the Denver Broncos battle the Carolina Panthers for the NFL’s holy grail – the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Al Plamondon and his 33-year-old son Matt climb aboard the Bud Plane to fly to San Francisco today for a whirlwind weekend of Super Bowl parties and events.

“I’m really pumped, I just can’t believe it,” said Al. “I couldn’t even sleep the first night. I’m just flabbergasted that we pulled this out, the last ticket.”

The longtime Fruitvale resident travelled to Edmonton in September to see Matt and watch the BC Lions play the Edmonton Eskimos. A trip to the Canadian Brewhouse got them tickets and a ride to the game, plus an entry form for a chance to win one of two trips to the Super Bowl.

“When we were in the bar they handed out all these entry forms for Superbowl tickets,” explained Al. “So I filled one out, my son filled one out, and there must have been like 10,000 in there. About three weeks ago, I got a call from this guy in Edmonton from the Brewhouse we were at. His name was Tom, and he says, ‘You are in the final drawing for the tickets to the Superbowl.’”

Al’s ticket was one of 50 the Brewhouse drew as finalists for the trip to San Francisco. But to win the trip, the retired Atco Wood Products worker was required to be at the pub for the NFL Conference championship games on Jan. 29, where they would make the final draw.

“I told them, ‘I’m in B.C. is it okay if my son goes?’ and they said, ‘Oh yeah, sure no problem.’”

Matt attended the event, while Al was curling in the mixed bonspiel at the Beaver Valley Curling Club while receiving updates from Matt on his cell phone from the Brewhouse.

“He was keeping in touch with me and he goes,’We’re down to five, I can’t believe it we’re down to five!”

Five finalists were drawn and herded onto the stage, where they unwrapped a small football with only one, the Grand Prize, containing the golden football.

“He phones me back, I don’t know a half-hour later, and he’s just screaming, he can’t even talk. ‘We’re going to the Super Bowl dad! We’re going to the Super Bowl!’”

Al sat incredulous at the other end of the call, while his son, upon regaining his composure, was interviewed by TSN.

“No way this is happening,” said Al. “A once in a lifetime trip, it’s the 50th anniversary, all-expenses-paid by Labatts. It’s so cool.”

The lucky winners fly out of Edmonton today, and stay at the Marriot-San Francisco for three days with all meals, and hotel transfers included, as well as tickets to Bud Lite weekend events, access to a social room, a variety of activities leading up to Sunday’s game, tickets to the tailgate party, and two seats at the game plus a bounty of swag.

Winning the trip was certainly thrilling, says Matt, but when asked, what he looks forward to most, he replied: “Sharing a lifetime experience with my father.”

The online ticket marketplace, StubHub, calculates Super Bowl 50 tickets selling at an average of $5,134 US per seat, up from an average of $4,222 one year ago, with luxury suites going for over $356,000. The Grand Prize is estimated to be worth about $25,000, and the experience of going to the Super Bowl with your dad: priceless.

The big game goes Sunday at Levis Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. At 3:30 p.m.

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