Kevin Hopkins will be the guest of honor at Super Bowl XLVI Sunday in Indianapolis.
Hopkins, employed at Scott’s Service and Towing in Winchester, won an all-expenses paid trip last week during a drawing sponsored by NBC¿affiliate WLEX TV¿Channel 18 in Lexington. Hopkins entered the drawing with his sights set on a 92-inch television, but wasn’t disappointed when his name was drawn for the SuperBowl package valued at more than $9,000. Hopkins was one of 18,000 people who entered to win one of the prize packages offered by the station.
“It was unbelievable,” he said after hearing his name drawn during the 6:30 a.m. newscast on Jan. 27. “I’ve never won nothing like that in my life. My wife (Tammy) happened to be off that day and it was pure excitement for both of us. I’ve never dreamed of winning really anything. I was beyond shocked.”
Although winning the jumbo-size television was a motivating factor for entering the contest, Hopkins realized the value of his prize after receiving his package from the station.
“It’s all exclusive through WLEX¿18, but it’s also exclusive through NBC,” said Hopkins, who departed for Indianapolis on Friday with his father Frankie Hopkins, also of Winchester. “I’ve got full access to everything from the NFL¿experience, to the hotel stay, rental car, coupons for free NFL¿merchandise, programs and the Super Bowl book.
“I get to go to all of the autograph sessions, everything is completely hospitality-related. Other than the gas getting (there and back), that’s all it’s going to cost me.”
Once he arrives in Indianapolis, he will have little use for an automobile.
“They will shuttle us from the hotel to anywhere that we want to go,” he said. “Everything is VIP. I can go to anything that NBC¿has set up, unless it’s celebrity-NBC¿exclusive only. It’s a premier package.”
Hopkins also is OK¿with the matchup between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants, even though “his team,” the San Fransisco 49ers, lost to New York in the NFC¿Championship game two weeks ago.
“I’ve been a die-hard fan of the 49ers since Joe Montana (played for them),” he said. “I even followed him when he was at Notre Dame. They came up one fumble short of making it.”
Despite the absence of his favorite NFL¿team, he’s still excited for the opportunity to attend the big event and will be rooting for New England.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing and a bucket list item to be honest,” he said. “I have to go with the Patriots for the simple fact that I would like to see (New England quarterback) Tom Brady win a fourth Super Bowl to put him in an elite status. They have a good coach and of course I like their tight end (Rob Gronkowski). He’s like a center in basketball. He’s 6-foot-8, he’s got good hands and he’s just unbelievable.”
Like his father, Hopkins never envisioned attending the Super Bowl in person, rather than watching it from his couch in Winchester.
“He’s beyond excited,” he said. “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him this happy in my life.”
Hopkins has also been lucky in the past and won tickets to see an NFL¿playoff game between the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens in 2004.
Hopkins said he his wife were treated “like royalty,” at that game, but he added that nothing will compare to the magnitude of Sunday’s main sporting event.
“It was a pleasant surprise,” he said with a smile. “I don’t know how to absorb it all, it’s utter shock.”