In April 8 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
As Duke University capped off the NCAA tournament with a national title Monday night, Gail Berry was crowned the champion of the first-ever Times Journal Bracket Contest with an overall score of 73 points.
Gail, who had three of the four Final Four teams and the national champion correct, outlasted nearly 250 other brackets that were turned in for the contest, and walked away with the grand prize, a houseboat weekend on Lake Cumberland courtesy of Indian Hills Resort/Alligator II Marina, a $1,895 value.
Gail professes herself as a Kentucky Wildcat fan and said it was her husband, Mike, who encouraged her to put Duke down as the eventual national champion.
“I never have good luck at filling out a bracket,” Gail said. “Mike kept telling me Duke was going to win, you just watch and see.”
Going with her husband’s word paid off.
Throughout the tournament, Gail said she never even bothered to keep up with the games, not even expecting her own success.
But when she found out Duke defeated Butler in Monday’s title game, she began to wonder how she fared in the bracket contest.
When she received the call at work that notified of her winning, Gail said she couldn’t believe it was true.
Gail and Mike met with James Flatt, general manager at Alligator II Marina, on Tuesday afternoon to claim the certificate that will give them a weekend getaway on one of the marina’s houseboat fleet.
“Usually in the offseason these houseboats are not busy and it gives people an experience that they may never have had before,” Flatt said of corporate sponsoring the contest.
“We’re excited, it is something different for us,” Gail said of winning the getaway. “It will give us an opportunity for some family time.”
Flatt said he and the marina and resort enjoyed being involved in sponsoring events such as this and elsewhere in the community.
“We’re a local business,” he said. “We’re happy to do it.”
Second place in the contest was Paul Stamper, who received a car wash and two oil changes provided by Franklin GM, a more than $70 value while third place went to Woody Gosser, who received the print “Wildcat Country,” donated by The Treasure Nook in Russell Springs, a $40 value.
The bracket contest was in conjunction with the special Cats' Pause section that was included in a March edition of the Times Journal.
Corporate sponsors for the contest were Franklin GM Center, First National Bank, State Farm Insurance-Agent Jay Garmon and Indian Hills Resort/Alligator II Marina. Other sponsors included Laker Country 104.9 fm WJRS and ESPN Radio 1060 am, Duo County Telephone, The Treasure Nook and Farm Bureau.