Gateway: Living

Bothell resident is lucky recipient of Gig Harbor Kiwanis raffle’s 1972 Dodge Challenger

Chris Nguyen, who lives in the Bothell area, was the lucky winner of the 1972 Dodge Challenger, given away by the Gig Harbor Kiwanis club as part of its annual raffle.
Chris Nguyen, who lives in the Bothell area, was the lucky winner of the 1972 Dodge Challenger, given away by the Gig Harbor Kiwanis club as part of its annual raffle. Courtesy

Gig Harbor Kiwanis culminated its biennial classic car raffle fundraiser on Oct. 14 when Kiwanis member Melani Joyal called the winner of the 1972 royal blue Dodge Challenger.

The winning ticket was purchased by Chris Nguyen, who lives in the Bothell area.

When Nguyen was called and told he won the car, he screamed so loud everyone in the room could hear him over the cellphone.

Nguyen later said he was screaming so loud that his dog began to bark at him, and his neighbors came over to see if he was okay.

He went outside and kept yelling, “I won the car!”

The story began for Nguyen at the Seattle Beer Festival, which was held in July at the Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion. Nguyen momentarily left his friends when he spotted the brilliant blue car because he has always wanted a Dodge Challenger from the early 1970s.

Nguyen shared that he believes in the law of attraction and since the car was his dream car, he invested in tickets — emphatically claiming to his friends he was going to win the car. When he sat in the car, he “really felt it.” Once Nguyen’s friends began buying raffle tickets, he decided to spend all the cash he had on hand and purchased a few more tickets to insure his win. Nguyen jokingly told his girlfriend she would have to move her car out of the garage to make room for the Challenger.

Nguyen also shared he would have been glad if he didn’t win, because he believes in what Kiwanis does for children — especially the educational support the organization offers to children and schools. Nguyen understands the spirit of giving, and was happy to repay to the community from times that were hard for his family.

Gig Harbor Kiwanis raffle chairperson Jim Bannon dedicated himself to the task of scheduling venues and shifts for members to sell tickets. Kiwanis members and spouses were generous with their time in filling the numerous shifts to sell the raffle tickets.

Sales began in April and culminated Oct. 14.

Bannon began the process of preparing for the raffle and organizing the details necessary to run the auction more than a year ago. Club members Darren Joyal, Joe Loya and Denny Wardwell also played key roles in helping organize the raffle.

“Our community has supported the Gig Harbor Kiwanis fundraisers for years,” Bannon said. “Without their support we wouldn’t have the resources to provide service to those in the greatest need.”

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