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Friday
Jun022017

Couple scores free tickets to Stanley Cup finals after stranger sends mistaken text

Amy Santora(PITTSBURGH) -- A Pittsburgh couple received two tickets to a Penguins championship hockey game, thanks to a stranger who directed a text message to the wrong person.

"The text said, 'Hi Julianne,'" Amy Santora, 45, told ABC News on Friday. "He went on to say that he had two sets of tickets to the Pens game that night in two different sections and that he was really angry because he put it on Ticket Exchange and no one was buying them.

"I replied and said this is not Julianne, but I'm a big Pens fan and I will gladly use your tickets," she added. "He [said], if 'I can't can't get in touch with her, they're yours.' My heart started to race."

Santora, a mom of three, said the man then offered her and her husband, Mike, the tickets to game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals on May 31. She received the text at about 7:30 p.m. and the game started at 8:10 p.m., she said.

"The funny thing about it was my youngest daughter is 5, and she literally just threw a juice box at me. So I'm dripping in juice, and my husband just walked in -- he worked 14 hours that day ... it was total chaos."

Santora's 17-year-old daughter looked after her sisters while the couple raced to PPG Paints Arena where they happened to get the last parking spot in the lot, Santora said.

The tickets, waiting for Santora at will call, cost $329 a piece. The Penguins came out victorious against the Nashville Predators, 4-1.

Brad Hayward, 63, a surgeon from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, is the season-ticket holder who gave Santora the tickets. Hayward told ABC News that he is currently working in Maine and was unable to go to the game. He also "struck out" in his attempts to sell or give away the tickets.

"I've given the tickets away before, but generally to people I know," Hayward said. "I felt like Santa Claus. The only rule I made was that she had to say "hi" to the aisle usher. The seat should have a fan sitting in them, somebody who'd scream, 'Let's go Pens' a little bit. I was happy that she was happy."

Santora said she was grateful for Hayward's kindness.

"The day that this happened, my aunt that I'm really close with passed away," she added. "My husband and I haven't been out together since September. To [Hayward], this might have not been that big of a deal, but to us this meant the world."

At the game, Santora said she granted Hayward's only request in exchange for the tickets -- to greet the usher in section 119, row P.

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