Atwood Shocked to Win Bailout Giveaway

The Blues will make her home mortgage payments for the next four months

Monday, 01.5.2009 / 4:43 PM CT / St Louis Blues - Features
By Chris Pinkert  - St. Louis Blues
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Atwood Shocked to Win Bailout Giveaway
Beth Atwood celebrates after being announced as the Fannie and Freddie Mortgage giveaway winner at the Jan. 3 game vs. Columbus.
While driving to Saturday’s game vs. Columbus with her boyfriend, Beth Atwood tried to imagine what she’d do if she won the Fannie & Freddie Mortgage giveaway.

Now she won’t have to.

“Lo and behold…woah!” Atwood said Monday, just two days after being announced as the winner. “When you think about it, what are the odds?”

Atwood was randomly selected from a sellout crowd on Saturday to win four months of mortgage assistance from the Blues as part of the Fan Bailout Plan, which offers discounted tickets to Blues home games and a mortgage giveaway at every remaining Saturday home game.

“I’m totally blessed this happened,” she said. “It’s an amazing promotion and it’s been fun to see the things the Blues will do for fans.”

Atwood has worked in payroll at Boeing for nearly 24 years and feels blessed to have a job in times where so many others seem to be losing theirs. Craig Nihiser, her boyfriend of 12 years, works as an apprentice at a steel company and will only get paid two weeks out of every month for the next three months, and his brother has been laid off from work since November.

“I’ve read some of the other (bailout) stories, and my heart goes out to those people,” Atwood said. “I don’t have the great story like some of the other folks do, but this comes at a great time for us. I was trying to figure out how I was going to rearrange my finances to help my (boyfriend out). It really couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Atwood has been a resident of Livingston, IL her entire life and purchased a house two years ago that is less than a mile from where she grew up. Five older brothers live within a 10-mile radius, which makes Livingston home for her and her family.

“It’s a very small community, but I love it. It’s quiet and we’re 15 minutes from everything. We have the best of all worlds here.”

As a Blues season ticket holder, Atwood is hoping to see her team reach the playoffs this season. She says she wants to make sure Keith Tkachuk gets a chance to win a Stanley Cup in St. Louis before he hangs up the skates, whenever that may be. But until then, she’s just glad to see the team is working hard and putting up a good effort every night.

“We support the Blues and we get a little frustrated sometimes,” she said. “But the thing is, even if they lose, we come out of there feeling like they didn’t roll over and let it happen. They’ve been fighting and Saturday’s (5-2 win over Columbus) was a great way to start the year.”

A bailout and free blizzards didn’t hurt either.

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