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A smile from fate: a cheap ticket

A cheap Super Bowl ticket and a signed football land in the lap of an area dentist


© St. Petersburg Times, published January 31, 2001

People traveled across the country, ticketless, for a chance to score Super Bowl tickets. Some paid thousands of dollars, one offered to trade a kidney, and two posed as paramedics in a failed effort to get through the gates.

A local dentist, Dr. Michael Kantor, simply used his head.

From about 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Kantor stood in line at the will-call window at Raymond James Stadium. At the end of the first quarter, about 100 tickets that hadn't been picked up were sold at face value to those in line.

At $325, that's $2,675 less than two of his friends paid for tickets. Each.

"It was a great seat," Kantor said. "It was halfway through the second quarter by the time I got in, and it was a boring game, but it was the Super Bowl."

Kantor, a Bucs season ticket holder, says he enjoys those games more. Except there's no Aerosmith at halftime.

It must have been Kantor's lucky weekend.

The day before, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue had stopped by Kantor's office for an emergency procedure on a lost crown. Tagliabue's chauffeur for the weekend was one of Kantor's patients.

"I said I wasn't going to charge him as long as he'd keep Tampa in the rotation of Super Bowl cities," Kantor said.

Instead, Kantor got a signed football reading, "Many thanks, Paul Tagliabue."

"I never would've guessed it," Kantor said. "I've achieved fame as a dentist."

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