Rock Hill woman wins trip to Super Bowl

Originally Published at Herald Online by Jason Foster

Rock Hill's Chris Murtha is headed to Miami for Super Bowl XLIV, thanks to coupons, a contest and a husband who communicates.

Murtha, 47, was selected as the grand prize winner from 25,000 entries nationwide in a contest sponsored by Jersey Mike's Subs. She will receive free air fare, hotel room and two tickets to Sunday's game between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts.

"I don't enter a whole lot of stuff," a beaming Murtha said Tuesday after receiving her tickets at the Jersey Mike's on Cherry Road.

Murtha noticed the contest in a coupon pack several weeks ago. She mailed in an entry form and learned via e-mail of the good news a few days ago.

Her husband, Craig, was the one who first saw the e-mail. He thought the message was probably spam but consulted his wife anyway. Good thing.

"I didn't even know she'd entered it," he said. "I'm glad I didn't delete the e-mail."

Despite his husbandly heroics, Craig won't accompany his wife to the big game. In a display of fatherly heroics, he gave the second ticket to the couple's 20-year-old son, Justin.

It wasn't an easy decision for Dad, but he didn't want to deprive his son of such a thrill.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing," he said.

Justin, a student at York Technical College and a huge football fan, was appreciative to say the least. Seeing the biggest sporting event on the planet in person is "going to have my heart racing," he said.

"Honestly, I don't really know what to expect. I know it's going to be crazy," Justin said. "I'm just ready for the experience."

Mother and son, both Carolina Panthers fans during the regular season, plan to root for the Saints.

"Go for the underdog," Justin said.

But Murtha said she'll keep the trip in perspective. She comes from a military family and wants to remind people that as many Americans will be busy with parties Sunday, there are thousands of servicemen and servicewoman overseas and in harm's way.

"We're thinking of them, too," she said.

Murtha and her son leave Friday morning for Florida. They'll live in style while there; Jersey Mike's has put them up in a five-star hotel.

"They did not scrimp on this at all," Murtha said.

The seats at the game aren't bad, either.

Murtha and her son will watch the action eight rows from the field at about the 40-yard line. Similar seats are selling for $4,200 online, she said.

But jealous types shouldn't get any ideas.

"I'm not going to sell them," Murtha said. "I'm going to the game."