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Super Bowl ticket winner gets experience of lifetime

PROCTORVILLE — Super Bowl Sunday was a day of firsts for Proctorville McDonald’s manager Sara Smithers.

Last month Smithers won tickets to one of the top sporting events when she got two tickets to this year’s Super Bowl because the Proctorville restaurant won an incentive-based competition among about 450 McDonalds restaurants in seven states for customer service.

It was her first Super Bowl and her first time flying.

“It was different,” Smithers said about the flight. “I was a little nervous, but the clouds and the view from the window were amazing.”

Not only did they get to see the game, their hotel, the Arizona Grand Resort, was the same one the Seattle Seahawks were staying for the week.

“The hotel was awesome,” Smithers said. “It’s unreal how nice it was.”

Besides the game, Smithers and her husband also took in the NFL Fan Experience in Phoenix, a special event set up for the weekend.

“They had a bunch of stands set up to check out and giant Cornhole,” she said. “It was really fun.”

Super Bowl XLIX was the most expensive sporting event ever, and Smithers found that out with an offer that she decided to turn down.

“Someone offered me $7,000 cash for one of my tickets,” she said. “I didn’t take it though because we wanted to see the game.”

Smithers and her husband were in the fourth row of section 451 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

“We were up top, but still had really good seats,” she said.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermain Kearse’s wild falling catch down the sideline toward the end of the fourth quarter and Katy Perry’s halftime show were what stood out to her the most, she said.

“Overall, it was a great experience,” she said. “It was unreal. I’m still in shock from it.”