Jay Bourgeois of Gautier, Miss., said he was astounded to hear he was the grand-prize winner in the 2009 BASS Freshwater Gear Up Giveaway Sweepstakes presented by Bass Pro Shops.
After all, Bourgeois had entered just one time, even though he could have put his name in the hat once a day for a month, the duration of the sweepstakes on Bassmaster.com.
"I can't tell you how very — no, how extremely — surprised I was to win," said Bourgeois, an avid tournament angler and district sales manager for a manufacturer of metal shelving and cabinets. "I don't remember signing up but one time, even though I go to Bassmaster.com frequently. But once was all it took."
Bourgeois won a package of tackle and equipment valued at more than $4,000. His prizes included a Bass Pro Shops XL Pro Qualifier rainsuit, Stalker Net and Extreme rod-reel combo.
He also won an OPTIMA BlueTop marine battery; an Abu Garcia Revo S reel; a variety of lures from Excalibur, BOOYAH, Bomber, YUM and Berkley; Fenwick Elite Tech Froggin' Stik rod; one-year BASS Insider membership; Costa Del Mar Fathom sunglasses; Jason Quinn Evan Williams jersey; Skeeter hat; SpongeTech boat/car washing kit; and Lowrance/Navico HDS-5 electronics unit.
Bourgeois said another big prize, a Minn Kota Fortrex trolling motor, will be a perfect upgrade for the smaller of the two bass boats he owns, a 14-foot aluminum model.
"The aluminum rig is great for the shallows of river systems around here," Bourgeois said.