Scott Knowlton was watching an Old Spice commercial and saw a female character in the spot scribble her phone number down for a man.
The number? 866-617-4247.
Knowlton, a movie buff, said since the number didn’t have the “555″ exchange that often signals the fakes found on TV, and he thought it was likely real, so he called it.
Knowlton, a producer for Buzz:60, a video news company in Manhattan, said he was so surprised when someone answered that he hung up.
He tried a second time, and when he got voicemail, he assumed he’d misdialed. So he hung up again.
When he called a third time, a woman answered. Knowlton explained that he’d seen the number in the commercial and was calling to see “what’s up.”
“And she said, ‘Well, I’m glad you did because if you’re interested, I’d like to give you two Super Bowl tickets.’ And I was like come on. I didn’t believe it at first,” he said.
He came around soon enough.
“I said ‘yes, thank you. I will take that. I would be happy to take those tickets off your hands,’” Knowlton, 36, told ABCNews.com.
He told colleagues at work and “Of course they all said ‘Well, what’s the number?’ And everybody in the newsroom started calling the number.”
It would do them no good, since Knowlton was one of only two people to get the fantastic offer.
The woman had given Knowlton her name and the name of a colleague and invited him to look her up so he could verify for himself that her offer was real.
“Once I saw that they actually worked for the ad agency that handles Old Spice stuff, I’m like ‘Wow. This is legit,’” said Knowlton, who moved to New York from Philadelphia just last week. “I was amazed. I’m still kind of amazed.”
A spokesman for Old Spice said there had been more than 12,000 calls to the number as of Thursday night. Asked to put a dollar value on the cost of the package, he declined, but said the Super Bowl experience was priceless.
The campaign – the brand’s first for a new collection of hair-care products — started online on Monday, and will start airing on TV on Sunday.
The commercial, from ad agency Wieden + Kennedy of Portland, shows participants in a business meeting. A man’s well-groomed hair detaches from his head and crawls across the table to an attractive woman, who scribbles her phone number onto a piece of paper. The hair takes the paper, delivers it to the man and reattaches itself to his head.
The ad was posted to YouTube on Monday. As of Thursday night, it had been viewed more than 683,000 times.
In addition to the tickets, Knowlton will get $500 in spending money, $2,500 to offset taxes and a three-night stay at a four-star hotel in Times Square.
Knowlton’s girlfriend, who is big on football, is looking forward to the hotel stay almost as much as she is to accompanying him to the game, he said.
Asked whether he’d had prior plans to attend the game, Knowlton laughingly replied: “No, no, that is way out of my price range.”
Since his preferred team, the Chicago Bears, didn’t make it to the big game, Knowlton was planning on watching it on TV just for the commercials.
He’ll have a far different vantage point on Sunday when the Seattle Seahawks face the Denver Broncos at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
The second lucky winner of a pair of tickets was Quinn Gelestino of Frederick, Md.