Campus News

Colts send Aaron Charles to Super Bowl XLIX

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Buying tickets to the Super Bowl is extremely difficult. And if they’re not sold out, they’re extremely expensive. So naturally, winning tickets to the Super Bowl would be amazing. But winning tickets to the Super Bowl in a contest you didn’t even know you entered? That would be unbelievable.  
Aaron Charles and his fiancée, Sarah, won a free trip to Super Bowl XLIX, courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts.
Aaron Charles and his fiancée, Sarah, won a free trip to Super Bowl XLIX, courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts.
But the unbelievable happened to senior communication major Aaron Charles last Wednesday, Jan. 28. Charles won two tickets to the Super Bowl, a free stay at a hotel from Thursday night to Sunday night and $2,000 cash to cover airfare. According to Charles, the contest owners estimated the tickets alone at $1,900 apiece. All in all, the trip was a $7,000 value. And Charles didn’t even know he’d entered until he won.   “(The Indianapolis Colts) had this promotion where they were asking fans to go online and fill out this contest form … (to get) a certificate that says you’re an official member of Colts Nation,” said Charles, who found out about the promotion through the Colts’ Twitter feed. “The only reason I filled out the form was to get the certificate, ‘cause I didn’t even know there was a contest that went along with it.”   At around 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 28, Charles filled out the form, then later printed out the certificate and took a picture. That would have been the end of it. Except for one small detail.   “A couple hours later I got a call from some lady in the Colts media department and she said “We’re sending you to the Super Bowl,”” he said.   Charles was at work at the admissions office at Bethel when he got the call.   “At first, I didn’t believe it and then she was telling me about all that went into the package … and I was speechless … Everybody in the office kind of gathered around … and then I hung up the phone and (I said,) ‘Guys, I just won a trip to the Super Bowl,’ and everybody just went nuts.”   The prize package wasn’t just tickets. As stated above, Charles won a hotel stay from Thursday to Sunday night, so of course, he and his fiancée, who accompanied him on the trip, made the most of their time.   “The hotel we were staying at was just gorgeous, so while it was snowing like crazy here, we were able to lounge by the pool in 75 degree weather,” said Charles, relating the experience. “I’m a huge Cubs fan; we were able to go see the Cubs spring training facility. We went to State Park there near Phoenix and just kind of took in the scenery.”   It was an eventful week for the couple who had gotten engaged just days before on Saturday, Jan. 24.   “Originally they had reserved our hotel stay for Thursday night through Sunday night and we were going to check out on Monday,” Charles said. “But then when we were buying plane tickets we found that plane tickets on Tuesday were much cheaper than plane tickets on Monday. So we said … we’ll stay the extra day and pay for the hotel. Well, the Colts ended up saying, ‘No, we’ll pay for your hotel.’ And originally they were going to give us $1,000 cash but when they found out that Sarah and I had just gotten engaged … they actually added in an extra $1,000.”   Leaving on a last-minute trip to Arizona may seem like a stressful endeavor, and Charles himself described it as “a whirlwind.”   “But God worked it all out. There were a lot of ways, you know, even once we got there that He provided in some really cool ways,” he said.   Charles and his fiancée had seats at the game in the lower level right on the Seahawks’ goal line, so the last few plays of the game took place right in front of them.   “It was the trip of a lifetime,” he said. “And to be able to share it with my fiancée, too, when we just got engaged, that was very special and it’s certainly something we’re going to remember forever.”
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