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Devils fans Tweet for vending machine prizes

by Gordy Stillman / New Jersey Devils
Snapping a photo, Jon Merrill and NJ Devil help a fan get a prize from the Devils vending machine in Newark's Gateway Center on September 9th. Fans could tweet a photo tagged with a unique hashtag to receive a prize from the machine. Photo by Courtney Gfroerer

Devils fans exchanged a tweet for a treat this week during their commute home on Tuesday in Hoboken and at lunch on Wednesday in Newark. More than 1000 prizes, from pucks to autographed jerseys, were given out to fans who stopped by the Devils vending machine at the two locations.

Fans following @NHLDevils on Twitter simply tweeted a selfie in front of the vending machine with the hashtag #JoinTheRush to receive a personalized code for entry into the machine. Forward Adam Henrique and defenseman Jon Merrill stopped by and helped hand out prizes to the delight of fans.

Tammie Hamilton was one of the first big winners, snagging a John MacLean jersey on her way to work Tuesday morning. The preschool teacher from West Orange, excited about her prize, said, “John MacLean was one of my favorite players growing up. It’s history for me and [the jersey is] going to a good home.”

PHOTOS: Click Here for photos from the vending machine, featuring Adam Henrique and Jon Merrill.

One of the least common prizes was a pair of tickets to a regular season game in October. One-hundred thirty-seven pairs were awarded over the two days, and in one unusual stretch of four fans, three of them won tickets. The three college roommates and one of their mothers stopped by on their way to the Yankees-Orioles game and two of the roommates collected tickets, while the third received a Stephen Gionta-signed puck.

Samantha Bedrosian, a 22-year-old student from Brick, NJ, said she and her roommates are big fans of the team and even have Devils banner in their room. “They saw that this popped up and wanted to go, so we made a stop.” Bedrosian said she’d only been to one Devils game, and was excited to know she’d go to more this season after she also won tickets and got a photo with Henrique.

With training camp a week away and excitement building for the new season, fans embraced the experience, even creating a new twitter account for the vending machine, and expressed hope to see it pop up at other New Jersey locations soon.

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