The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 23, 2013

Andover family wins Great Lakes Auto contest

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Forty four people stepped to the black lock box hoping the small gold key would open their future to a new car or some cash.

The Great Lakes Auto event was designed two years ago to help area schools raise money for programs in their schools, said co-owner John Rocco.

Nine different county schools participated this year raising more than $100,000 during the last two years, he said.

The winner had the choice of taking $30,000 toward the purchase of a car or $15,000 in cash, Rocco said.

The first 44 contestants went home disappointed.

The 45th key, however, brought a smile to the faces of an Andover couple whose key opened the box. Gary Berrier, and his wife Thelma, are planning to take the money because they already have two new vehicles.

“We’re probably going to take the money,” he said.

Berrier said he felt great.

He said he bought the ticket from an employee of an Andover area business who was selling them for a grandchild. One ticket was all he bought and it turned out to be the magic winner.

“I forgot all about it until they called to tell me,” he said of making the finals.

Thelma found the ticket in the glove compartment of one of their vehicles.

Sandy Reinke, of Ashtabula, was one of the 44 that went away without a car, but was happy to help Lakeside schools.

“I was nervous, hopeful, then disappointed when it didn’t turn,” she said. Other contestants reacted with contorted faces or frowns.

After each drawing the most recent contestant picked the next person to draw for the vehicle. Contestants came from as far away as West Virginia and Macedonia after buying tickets from local people.

The drawing took place amidst the 10th Annual Great Lakes Auto Cruise-In that drew more than 260 antique cars to the dealership grounds.

A live band belted out tunes and several hundred people gathered around to watch the drawing.

Great Lakes Auto co-owner Joey Huang was the emcee for the event and co-owner John Rocco held the jar that contained all the keys.

Fifty four finalists were notified and had to show up to be considered for winning the vehicle. Each name was placed in a hat and when read the contestant picked a key from the jar and tried to open the lock box.

“We have six contestants from each (of nine) schools,” Rocco said. He said all the money from ticket sales stayed with the schools that sold them.

“One hundred percent goes back to the schools,” Huang said.

Rocco said he believes car shows are successful because people take pride in their automobiles. He said cars made in 1917 to present day vehicles were represented at the show.

Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth