Chiefs fans win Super Bowl sweepstakes from American Cancer Society
By Matt Conner
Chiefs fans Michelle and Scott Gipson told us about their fight to prevent breast cancer and winning a whirlwind Super Bowl weekend package.
“We’re still pinching ourselves a little bit.”
Michelle Gipson, along with her husband Scott, had their entire week shift on Monday morning when a call arrived at her workplace. On the other end of the phone was a representative of Fanthropic, a partner of the American Cancer Society, who together with the NFL sponsored a sweepstakes for a Super Bowl weekend package for two.
“I might have ran around my office screaming loudly—very loudly,” says Michelle. “Then I got to call Scott. He was at work and I don’t know if he believed me. He said, ‘Please don’t tell me we really didn’t win.'”
The Gipsons, who live in Springfield, Missouri, have been season ticket holders for 15 years and Michelle says she was determined to find her way to the Super Bowl this year if at all possible.
“We knew the Chiefs had a really good shot this year—well, we had a really good shot last year—but I started entering contests in September,” she says. “I always kinda thought we’d win the season ticket holder lottery and go that way, but we didn’t. We were kind of sad, but I entered a couple more places to try to win a couple more Super Bowl tickets. Scott would not let me buy tickets. It was a little too much money.”
Everyone dreams of winning such a contest, but to actually get the call was surreal to both of them.
“I own my small trucking company—that is to say it’s a one-man truck—and I was actually on my way back from Detroit going to St. Joe,” says Scott, a retired police officer. That’s where the load originated. I think I was just outside of Hannibal headed toward St. Joe when she called and I thought, ‘Are you serious?’ I know her enough to know when she’s joking and when she’s not. I thought, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe this is happening.’
“So I said, ‘Well, I have to go because I have to cancel everything else for the rest of the week.’ The guy I called was trying to give me a hard time and said, ‘I’m sorry I can’t take the load.’ I said, ‘Sorry buddy, I’m going to the Super Bowl!'”
To participate the Crucial Catch Super Bowl Sweepstakes, entrants could donate a minimum of $10 to the American Cancer Society through their NFL partnership, Crucial Catch, which aims to promote early testing and detection for cancers. Fanthropic operated the actual sweepstakes and the Gipsons were selected. The beauty of this story, however, is found in a connection made only after winning the Super Bowl seats.
“What was so cool to me is that I was tested and then BRCA2 positive,” says Michelle. “In 2015, I went through all of the preventative surgeries. It was just that much more special that it was through that platform that we won. BRCA stands for breast cancer. There’s one of two gene mutations. I had an 87 percent chance of having breast cancer. After the preventative surgeries, I took those cancer chances down to four percent.
“After they told me I won and I ran around screaming in my office, I told them my story and they said, ‘We generally don’t get emotional when we tell people they’ve won, but this story is just so special.’ He teared up a little bit. It was just so special. We cannot wait to go and be ambassadors for the American Cancer Society during the Super Bowl. And the Chiefs! We will have Chiefs gear on.”
The Gipsons are heading out Friday to participate in a whirlwind weekend that features much more than just attending the actual game, as if that wasn’t enough.
“They have put us up at the Hilton Miami downtown,” says Michelle. “They are taking us to three different events on Saturday. There’s the Wheels Up Super Bowl party. We’re doing NFL Honors and then also the Super Bowl Live, there’s a VIP sectin of that. Then on Super Bowl Sunday, we’ll meet with NFL representatives. We also have sidelines passes. We’ll actually sit with Caleb [McLaughlin] from Stranger Things and also Ken Jeong from The Hangover and The Masked Singer. We don’t stop. It’s non-stop, which we’re so excited about.”
“I told a friend that I remember back in 1993-94 when I was just out of college and I was watching the Chiefs and the Bills on my 19-inch black and white TV in my first apartment,” added Scott. “This is a long way from that, baby!”
If you’d like to donate to the NFL’s Crucial Catch initiative or want more information, you can head here.