Not only did one local family get lucky twice when all four of their seats were picked in the Super Bowl lottery, but their good fortune rubbed off on another family that they helped get into the big game for free.
Marvell Brown, Manuel Bailey, Melanie Meade and Rennard Meade were ecstatic earlier this month when they were able to go to Miami. The family has had season tickets (four seats) for only five years, and even though the lottery was partly based on how long a person has had tickets, all four of theirs were picked in the two-round lottery.
When Super Bowl Sunday finally came, the family headed off to the stadium early to take part in the pre-game festivities. That’s when their lives were changed yet again.
“We were walking to the gates and this man from Pepsi stopped us and asked us if we needed tickets,” Brown said. “We told him we already had some, and he asked if there was a family we knew that would want the tickets from Pepsi – for free.”
The family immediately began looking around the stadium hoping to find a family worthy of such a special gift. It didn’t take them long.
“My sister spotted these two young boys walking with two women, one of whom was using a cane,” Brown said. “We got them and brought them to the man at the gate, and he told them he had four Super Bowl tickets.
“The older woman with the cane just started screaming and crying.”
It turns out that the woman, Miami-native Marcia DeCambre, is dying of cancer and had taken her daughter and her two grandchildren to the stadium just to see the festivities for a few minutes before they drove home.
“She had just parked right near the stadium and told the security guard that she just wanted her grandchildren to share in the experience and that they would all be back in 10 minutes,” Brown said. “The security guard told them it was OK.”
DeCambre, Marvell said, had also wanted to experience the pre-game festivities for herself.
“She told us that she won’t be around next year for the Super Bowl because she’s dying,” Brown said. “I know that it was the grace of God that that family walked up when they did.”
Not only did the Miami family get to go to the Super Bowl, but they also got to go to an exclusive pre-game party.
“When the man from Pepsi told the family that there would be free food, tears came to the children’s eyes and they just clapped and cheered,” Brown said. “It was such an experience and something I will always remember.”
Something else Marvell will always remember is the Saints’ 31-17 victory over the Colts.
“I have been replaying that whole night in my mind ever since it happened and it’s just so unreal,” she said. “The game was unbelievable. You had black people and white people just embracing and kissing each other and everyone was so unified.
“I had such a great time and it will be something that will stay with me for as long as I still have my memory left.”