Annual Jingle Bells Giveaway makes history

Saturday’s annual Jingle Bells Drawing is definitely one for the record books.

The yearly Sapulpa Main Street Event—often one of the largest events the town has—drew such a crowd that people were walking several blocks to get to the County Courthouse.

A large crowd gathers at the Creek County Courthouse for the 2021 Jingle Bells $10,000 Cash Drawing.

The prize? $10,0000; or if not that, one of the smaller amounts that were given away leading up to the Big Kahuna.

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Channel 9 Meteorologist Lacey Swope led the event as the numbers began to be drawn for each of the smaller winnings: three $1,000 prizes, one $2,000 prize and then the big one—$10,000.

One of the winners of the $1,000 prize had raced to the Courthouse from downtown Sapulpa when she heard her number drawn, and her excitement melted into horror when she realized she had grabbed the wrong ticket. “I have it in my car, I just got the wrong one,” she said.

As word began to get out that the hopeful winner had missed her chance, someone from the crowd shouted “let her go back and get it!” Others agreed—it was Christmas time, after all. The Main Street committee was consulted, and the crowd roared with applause when they told her if she could go retrieve the ticket and return with it, she’d be awarded the prize. She hustled back to her car while the other drawings continued, and returned as they were drawing the $10,000 ticket.

Well, the first one, anyway.

The rules state that the person holding the winning ticket has to get to the Creek County Courthouse parking lot within 5 minutes to claim their prize. As the seconds turned into minutes, nobody came forward on the first try.

Nor the second. Nor the third or fourth. Each time the countdown ran out, a cheer went up as the crowd realized they had another chance. Ticket-holders feverishly shuffled through their tickets or checked their binders and spreadsheets as the numbers were called. A collective groan could be heard every time, for those who weren’t going to win the $10,000.

Sapulpa Firefighters turn the giant tumbler of tickets as a crowd hopes theirs is the one drawn.

Contest officials said that the record number of drawings for the Jingle Bells giveaway had been five. Today, that record was tied, as on the fifth turn, Kay Jones came hurrying down Dewey Avenue to turn in her ticket. She stood beaming with the crowd as she held her big check, and hugged friends and family after the crowd began to disperse.

Kay Jones is surrounded by the Jingle Bell Committee and Meteorologist Lacey Swope as she holds her check as the big winner of the 2021 Sapulpa Main Street Jingle Bells $10,000 Cash Drawing contest. The winning ticket was given by Wendy VanArsdel Insurance Agency.

Jones works part-time at Little Bit of Country, which was playing the winning numbers in the store during the contest. She was ecstatic but so surprised, that she hadn’t even thought of what she’d spend the money on. “I’ll probably use it to pay bills,” she said.

If you didn’t win today, don’t worry! Sapulpa Main Street will be holding another $500 drawing using those same tickets, so hold onto them! The winner will be published in the Sapulpa Times, the Sapulpa Herald, and on the Sapulpa Main Street Facebook Page.