By Kelli Stopczynski (email@example.com)
5:44 PM EST, December 13, 2012
The first thing Juel Kruse and her 16-year-old grandson Colton did when they saw the “Golden email” saying they won two tickets through the Anthony Travel portion of Notre Dame’s BCS lottery was give each other a high five.
“I don’t know if either of us really believed it at first,” she said, her eyes welling with tears. “[I] just get emotional because we’re so excited about going.
She becomes choked up, she said, because she’s such a huge Notre Dame fan. She even has a bedroom in her St. Joseph County house full of sports memorabilia from the university.
“We support all the sports at Notre Dame. We’ve been a hockey family for years, so we go to all the hockey games. And I’m a season ticket holder for the women’s basketball team, I do volunteer work for the promotions department,” she said.
Colton, a Penn High School junior, said he realizes it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I’d rather go there than get anything for my birthday or Christmas,” he said.
Kruse was one of more than 50,000 people who entered Notre Dame’s lottery to try and get their hands on a ticket to the Jan. 7 game where the Fighting Irish will take on Alabama. But the University said it only had 17,000 tickets to sell.
According to Notre Dame Senior Assistant Athletic Director Josh Berlo, 2,500 of the tickets went to students who entered a student lottery through the university. An alumnus donated a huge chunk of money so the winning students would only have to pay $150 for their ticket rather than the $350 face value.
The rest of the tickets went to people who entered and won a different university lottery, Berlo said. Those tickets sold for $350 each. Since each person who entered the second lottery could request up to two tickets, there was demand for more than 100,000, he added.
Notre Dame football players and coaching staff also had access to tickets, but Berlo declined to disclose those numbers.
University employee Ian Hogan was not one of the lucky ones. His email from the ticket lottery arrived Tuesday evening. Neither he nor his wife won. Both applied.
“I was really hopeful, especially because my wife went to school here and she was a Monogram winner and she was on the rowing team. So I thought with her application we had a pretty good chance,” he said.
Hogan is still hopeful two tickets will pop up, but said he won’t pay more than face value.“I’m not independently wealthy,” he laughed.
Kruse said she knows plenty of people just like Hogan – who entered the lottery to buy tickets but weren’t selected. Even though she received her e-mail Dec. 4, she said she’s still in shock that she’ll be in Miami cheering on the Irish.
“Just oh my gosh, we’re some of the very lucky people that are gonna get to watch that game!” she gushed.
Kruse and everyone else who entered the Notre Dame lottery had to pay a non-refundable, $25 fee just to enter. Quick math reveals that $25 multiplied by the more than 50,000 people who entered is easily more than $1,250,000 the university collected.
That money, Berlo said, is being used to cover the cost of running the lottery – including credit card fees, internet transaction fees, shipping the tickets to lottery winners and other mailings about the BCS.
Tickets will be shipped via Federal Express to winners on Dec. 17. Students who bought tickets through the lottery have to pick them up at the “will call” window in Miami.
All 17,000 tickets are currently locked up in a secure location on campus, Berlo said.
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