April 13, 2017. Louisville, KY.   – Through a special second chance promotion sponsored by the Kentucky Lottery, Brandenburg, KY resident Mary Hager won the opportunity to be this year’s Festival Fanatic for the 2017 Kentucky Derby Festival.  As part of her big win, Hager will serve as the Thundernator for the Derby Festival Opening Ceremonies:  Thunder Over Louisville on Saturday, April 22.  Hager will provide the Thunder countdown and “zero” ignition to activate the Thunder launch system sequence in the Command Center at the Galt House Hotel. Additionally, Mary receives nine other Festival VIP experiences including a ride down Broadway in the Republic Bank Pegasus Parade, a hot air balloon ride, seats on Millionaires Row during Celebrity Day at the Downs, and $500 in spending money!

Over 5,000 fans entered the promotion which kicked off on February 6th.  Players signed in or registered for a Fun Club Rewards account at www.kylottery.com.  Once logged in, they were able to submit an eligible Cash Ball ticket worth $5 or more for a chance to be named the 2017 Festival Fanatic.

This is a special win for Hager, “I came home one night and had a call from the lottery saying I’d won a prize. I had to wait until the next morning to find out what I’d won, but I was so excited when I learned I was going to be the Festival Fanatic! It’s been 20 years since I’ve been to Thunder, and I’m looking forward to experiencing it in an amazing way this time around.”

Hager won a V.I.P. Experience package that includes:  an invitation to the Festival’s annual They’re Off! Luncheon on Friday, April 21; a Second Street Bridge and Command Center Tour also on Friday, April 21; Overnight accommodations for a family of 4 at the Galt House Thunder weekend; and a front row seat in the Command Center on Saturday, April 22, to flip the switch.

Thunder Over Louisville – the Derby Festival’s Opening Ceremonies – is one of nearly 70 events produced by the Derby Festival in the spring. The 2017 Thunder Over Louisville, themed “Thunder: Local & Original,” is set for Saturday, April 22, and will be the 28th annual production. The show is sponsored by Horseshoe Southern Indiana, LG&E, Meijer, UPS, and Valero.

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