Ronald Spearin of East Millinocket can’t really remember how he came to enter the contest that won him a sports fan’s dream vacation.
He can’t recall whether he called a toll-free number, popped a coupon in a jar, or what.
About all he knows for sure is that about two or three weeks ago, a couple of days in sunny San Diego seemed like a good change of pace. He decided to enter a national promotion he learned about at the Lincoln Subway sandwich shop.
“Going to the Super Bowl would have been a nice thing,” Spearin remembers thinking. “I thought I’d try it and see. My chances were like nil.”
On Friday, the 33-year-old Spearin, a football-loving papermaker at Lincoln Pulp and Paper, learned that he’d become the lone winner. He’s not going to Disney World, as the game’s MVP always does, but he is going to the Super Bowl, courtesy of Subway and Pepsi-Cola.
Spearin and his wife, Karen, will fly to San Diego this Friday and return on Monday.
The fact that Spearin even entered the contest was rare for him.
“I just blow ’em off,” he said of contests in general. “I’ll never win. I never enter them.”
This time, Spearin beat the odds and won big.
Michele Klotzler, the director of publicity and community relations for Subway Restaurants, said the contest was quite simple.
“All you had to do was call an 800 number, give them your name and phone number, and you were entered,” Klotzler said. “In all, 30,000 people responded, and Ronald was the winner of two tickets.”
Klotzler said the company is running a similar promotion in Canada in conjunction with the Stanley Cup hockey finals.
Spearin said Subway representatives have told his wife that the couple also is invited to visit a VIP tent sponsored by Pepsi before and after the game.
Though he’s never attended an NFL game in person, Spearin is a diehard New England Patriots fan and said he makes every effort to support his team.
“Every Sunday, if I’m home [I’ll watch the game], or we listen to it on the radio at work. But I’ll be a bigger football fan now.”
Even with the Pats out of the picture, Spearin’s choice of teams on Sunday is clear.
“I’m gonna root for Denver, only because Green Bay beat New England [in the Super Bowl] last year,” he said.
Karen Spearin, on the other hand, has no real interest in football, but has told her husband that she’ll root for Green Bay.
Spearin said winning the contest had changed his behavior in at least one way.
“Yesterday, I started drinking Pepsi at work, and the guys are like, `Yeah, now you’re drinking Pepsi,” Spearin said with a laugh.
But now, he said he feels a little loyalty to the brand.
“I had to give them some of their money back,” he said. “Forty-five cents at a time.”