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Victoria man wins Cowboys season tickets

Stephen Herzog

By Stephen Herzog
Jan. 5, 2011 at 9:02 p.m.
Updated Jan. 5, 2011 at 7:06 p.m.

Rudy Valdez, 33, jokes around with his family in the garage, which they have redone into a room with Dallas Cowboys memorabilia. Valdez, a lifelong Cowboys fan, won 2011 season tickets to the Cowboys. The tickets, won through the Texas Lottery, are valued at $12,707.

Rudy Valdez, a 33-year-old man from Victoria, has been a Cowboys fan as long as he can remember.

In all those years he's watched game after game from the comfort of his home, but he's never seen them live.

He'll finally get his chance in 2011. And he'll get the chance eight times.

Valdez learned last week that he was the winner of 2011 Dallas Cowboys season tickets through the Texas Lottery.

"I did those scratch off tickets," he said. "They have the part where you can mail in for a second chance. I did that a couple months ago and I just found out last week that I won."

Valdez has been buying lottery tickets for a long time, but he's never won until now.

And now that he has the tickets, he's holding on for dear life.

Someone offered him $6,000 for the tickets, but he turned them down. He didn't even have to think about. He's received other offers, but he hasn't budged yet.

He also doesn't have any second thoughts about making the 5-hour drive to Dallas for every home game next season.

"I just feel blessed," he said. "This is a great Christmas present."

Valdez, who says he is a "true blue Cowboys fan," has his garage decked out in Cowboys gear, including jerseys, pictures, posters, and even some more unusual items like a Cowboys ice chest and Cowboys socks. When the weather's nice, he'll watch games out there. It'll only get used for away games this year.

He won't have the tickets until next summer, after the NFL schedule is set, but he's looking forward to seats on the 30-yard-line, down in the first section of seats at the new Cowboys Stadium.

The tickets are valued at $12,707. His scratch-off ticket cost $10.

It's a dream come true for the lifelong fan, and it came at a great time.

Valdez, who works constructing metal buildings, was injured on the job four years ago when a 150-pound metal beam fell on his head.

He spent about a month in the hospital in San Antonio, and his family didn't know if he'd make it.

When he retells the story, he speaks just from what others have told him - he doesn't remember any of it.

Luckily for Valdez, he's back at full strength these days. And he hopes to keep riding his lucky streak.

"Now I'm trying to win some Harley gear from the scratch-off tickets," he said.



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