Brittany Aston and Sam Cantola of Penn Trafford arrived set up chairs on the Mellon Arena lawn hours before the Penguins’ 2010 Stanley Cup playoff opening game against the Ottawa Senators to take in all the action on the Trib Tron big screen outside of Gate 3.
But instead, they ended up watching the game up close from inside Mellon Arena in section B3 after winning a drawing in which the Penguins gave away free tickets.
“I’ve never won anything before. I’m freaking out,” said a demonstratively excited Aston. “I can’t breathe. My dad is going to be so mad. He’s going to be jealous.”
The fans seated in the grassy knoll beneath the big screen texted a message to the Penguins. The Penguins randomly selected numbers from those texts and had radio personalities Mikey and Big Bob call the number to inform the winner.
The Penguins gave away tickets at 6 p.m., 6:10, 6:15, 6:20 and 6:30. In the first drawing, Cantola’s number was picked and she answered the winning phone call.
“We just won tickets. I feel awesome right now,” Cantola said. “This is the best day ever. My heart is racing really fast. I can’t wait to go in there. This is the best day of my life.”