Three years ago my friend and I entered the first ever Seahawks playoffs lottery contest put on by the Washington State Lottery. Spoiler alert: my friend won.
It was Russell Wilson’s rookie year and the Seahawks were heading to the NFL Playoffs. They had secured the Wild Card spot and were playing the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on January 6, 2013.
The Washington State Lottery was holding a Seahawks Playoffs lottery contest where two winners each received two round trip tickets on Alaska Airlines from Seattle to Washington DC, two nights hotel stay and two tickets to the game. To enter you had to purchase two $5 scratch tickets at the Southcenter Mall near Seattle during a three hour window. For every two scratch tickets you purchased, you received a ticket to enter into the drawing.
My friend, Mindi, and I showed up at the mall to enter the Seahawks playoffs lottery contest and lined up a bit before the tickets were going to go on sale. There was already a long line but Blitz, the Seahawks mascot, was entertaining the crowd. When we were let in, both Mindi and I purchased $20 worth of scratch tickets which gave us each two entries into the drawing. There were people there buying thousands of dollars of tickets for the chance to fly out to DC to see the Hawks play.
At 7pm they announced the drawing was about to start. For that contest you had to be present to win the drawing (in subsequent years they would call the winners). There would be two grand prize winners and then some additional winners would receive gift cards.
The very first name they called out was my friend Mindi (actually they butchered her name, but it was her!). She ran down and claimed her prize in front of tv cameras. I would be her +1 on the trip!
The next day Mindi was contacted by the Seahawks and they arranged for our flight and hotel booking. The tickets would be mailed to her. A local news station came to her house to film her packing.
After upgrading our seats to First Class (it was only about $50 more since the tickets were full price economy booked last minute), we flew out to DC and settled in at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. As the hotel was booked by the Seahawks, the team was also staying at the property. It made for fun people watching and drinking at the bar with Beast Mode’s mom (aka Mama Lynch).
The day of the game we lined up in the lobby for the team send off as they loaded their buses.
The game was chilly (though not as chilly as their next Wild Card game) but there were a lot of other Seahawks fans that had made the trip. Our seats were in the nose bleeds but it was an exciting game. The Seahawks overcame a two score deficit to win (and sadly RG3, rookie of the year, sustained a nearly career ending injury). They ended up losing the next game in Atlanta but would go on to win the Super Bowl the following year.
Winning the Seahawks playoffs lottery contest was a memorable, once in a lifetime experience.