A Super return

35 win Silver Mountain season ski passes with Super Bowl kickoff return

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Some of 35 patrons at Noah's Canteen bar who won season ski passes to Silver Mountain Resort pose for a photo after Baltimore's Jacoby Jones returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown during Sunday's Super Bowl XLVII. An adult season pass at the resort currently costs $609.

Bill Higgins is glad he listened to his mother, Judy, on Sunday.

The other adult family members who didn't regret it.

The Higginses were among 35 people who had an open tab at Silver Mountain Resort's Noah's Canteen bar during the second-half kickoff of Super Bowl XLVII and won season ski passes when Baltimore speedster Jacoby Jones returned the kickoff 108 yards to set an NFL postseason record.

"My mom wanted to have some fun and I couldn't stand the Beyonce halftime show, so I said, 'Let's go,'" said Bill Higgins, of Coeur d'Alene and a chiropractor in Post Falls. "It was a super cool deal. I buy a season pass every year, but I'll take a freebie."

Though Silver Mountain has not set prices for next season, which the free passes are good for, an adult season pass currently costs $609.

According to bookofodds.com, an online reference site that lists odds on a variety of topics, the odds of returning an NFL kickoff for a touchdown are 270 to 1.

The Higgins family is renting a condominium at Silver Mountain and several family members were at the resort on Sunday, but only Bill and Judy decided to pop in to Noah's for the promotion.

It didn't take much time to be a winner, Bill said.

"My dad was like, 'There's no way (a kickoff return for a touchdown) is going to happen," he said. "We ordered a beer and were there for two minutes, then all of a sudden everyone started to scream. We looked up and, what do you know, it worked out. Too bad the rest of the family wasn't there."

Neal Scholey, the resort's spokesman who was at the bar, said the business rocked with excitement when Jones pulled away from San Francisco defenders.

"The place went from silence to going nuts," Scholey said. "When (Jones) got buried in back of the end zone (with the kickoff), everyone thought he'd just take a knee. But when he reached the 30-yard line the place just erupted. It ended up being a pretty inexpensive way to get a season pass."

This was Noah's seventh such Super Bowl promotion - and the first time it has had to hand out season passes in return.

"Every year, everyone gathers around a TV and generally the player is tackled 20 or 30 yards out (from the goal line)," Scholey said. "This year people were chuckling about it, saying that one of these days it has to happen."

Judy said she was aware of the bar's promotion, but it took some prodding to get anyone in her family to go with her to Noah's.

"I went down there because I knew we would win," said Judy, of Clarkston, Wash. "My inner sense said that it was going to happen. I found that it was a really fun way to celebrate."

Neither Bill nor Judy are Baltimore or San Francisco fans. And neither had heard of Jones.

"But I'd have to say that I'm a fan of his now," Judy said.

Scholey said that many of the bar patrons, including the Higginses, were there specifically because of the promotion. Some were unaware of it and left with a nice surprise. Others weren't as lucky.

"Some people wandered in two minutes after it happened and wondered what was going on," he said.

Jones' return was the ninth kickoff return for a TD in Super Bowl history and the second by a Baltimore player. The last TD return was by Chicago's Devin Hester in 2006.

Scholey said he wouldn't be surprised if the excitement spills over to next year's Super Bowl and attendance increases at Noah's.

"Better mark your calendars for next year," he said.

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