A lot of times, people enter a contest believing they have zero chance at winning anything, much less the grand prize. That’s certainly what Michele Rieckhoff of Waconia was expecting when she submitted a few online entries for a nationwide sweepstakes sponsored by Disney and made available to Mediacom cable customers as a promotion for OnDemand viewing of Brave, the award-winning, computer-animated Disney/Pixar film.
Rieckhoff will probably approach future contests with more optimism as she recently learned that she was selected as the single grand prize winner among tens of thousands who entered the “Brave Adventure Sweepstakes.” As the grand prize winner, Rieckhoff’s prize is a nine-day trip for two to Scotland where she will participate in a guided group travel experience with Adventure By Disney guides. The itinerary will follow the footsteps of Brave film characters as they explore the castles, legends and landscapes of the Scottish Highlands.
A special event — complete with bagpipe player — to announce Rieckhoff’s good fortune was held at Mocha Monkey in Waconia on Saturday, March 16. According to Mediacom, the event was held to celebrate the selection of a local winner and to add transparency to the contest outcome with public recognition of the winner.
Mediacom’s regional vice president, Bill Jensen, presented the prize to Rieckhoff.
Rieckhoff said she was “pretty excited and overwhelmed” to be the sweepstakes’ grand prize winner. She has been to Greece but nowhere else in Europe so she is thrilled to visit Scotland.
“It was hard to believe when they called but then all the paperwork started to come in,” she said. “I’ve won a couple of little things here and there but never anything like this.”
Whether it’s making scones, learning Scottish dancing, or trying her hand at weaving, Rieckhoff is looking forward to the cultural experiences that she will enjoy during the trip, which will occur this summer.
Rieckhoff and her husband, Mark, and their three children moved to Waconia seven months ago. Rieckhoff said Mark is unable to go on the trip so one of their children will go instead. The couple has chosen which one of the children — ages 7, 10 and 13 — will be going but the kids don’t know which one is going yet.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance for her and one of the kids,” Mark said. “For Mediacom to be able to do something like this, we can’t thank them enough for the trip. I’m looking forward to Michele and one of the kids to having the experience.”
Contact Todd Moen at [email protected]