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Four bars' patrons quaff winnings of Bud Bowl

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 29, 2001

Customers at four bars in Pinellas and Pasco counties unexpectedly got to split $80,000 during the Super Bowl's halftime show Sunday, thanks to an Anheuser-Busch promotion.

The prize patrol of the Bud Bowl 2001 Share the Cash stopped by with $20,000 at each of four bars: the Drift Inn in Clearwater, Jester's Sports Cafe in St. Petersburg, the Stadium in New Port Richey and Venture's Bar and Grill in Holiday. The money was split among the customers 21 years old and older, said Sandy Ho, human resources director of Great Bay Distributors, Anheuser-Busch's wholesaler in Pinellas and west Pasco counties. Anheuser-Busch officials randomly picked the locations from a pool of bars that registered for the promotion. The bars did not know they had won until the halftime show. Nationally, the beer company awarded $500,000 in 27 cities to consumers "who happened to be at the right place at the right time," Ho said.

Scott Palmer, Venture's Bar and Grill owner, said the bar's doors were locked at the end of the second quarter, and the 38 customers who were old enough erupted in applause when they were told they would share $20,000. "It was awesome ... like winning the lottery," said Palmer.

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