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Contest winners heading to Jamaica, mon!



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The Kotora family, of Oxford, won a trip to Jamaica last week courtesy of Channel 7 WXYZ-TV's "Hot Coffee, Hot Beaches" contest. Pictured (from left) are Angela, Dylan (9½) and Kevin Kotora. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio.
January 04, 2006 - The Kotora family, of Oxford, is heading to Jamaica, mon, after winning a local TV news cast's contest.

Kevin and Angela Kotora last week won an 8-day, 7-night vacation to Montego Bay, Jamaica, courtesy of Channel 7 WXYZ-TV's "Hot Coffee, Hot Beaches" contest.

They also won a year's supply of McDonald's Premium Roast Coffee.

"I wanted to go to Jamaica and I don't drink coffee," quipped Angela, who entered the contest at wxyz.com using her husband's name. "I never win anything, so I entered his name."

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Sometime within the next year, the Kotoras will be staying at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios.

"I haven't won anything since I was 9 years old – name the new elephant at the Belle Isle Zoo," said Kevin, who works in retirement planning.

Kevin's name was announced and briefly flashed across the screen during the December 29 Channel 7 Action News cast at 11 p.m. He had 30 minutes to call in and claim his prize worth $3,965.

Unfortunately, the Kotoras, who have lived in Oxford for five years, weren't watching the news that night. They were in Bellaire, Michigan staying at the Shanty Creek Resort & Club.

Normally, Angela watches Channel 7 Action News "all the time."

But fortunately co-workers, friends and complete strangers were watching as they all tried to contact Kevin within the 30-minute deadline.

The family received six calls that night.

"Three were from complete strangers," Angela said. "They left messages saying, 'I hope you get this. You have a half-hour to call in for the trip. Good luck.'"

Thanks to all these helpful people, Kevin was able to meet the deadline.

The family received another call from a stranger Friday night after Kevin's name was accidentally flashed across the screen again during the news cast.

"He said he Googled me," Kevin said.

The Kotoras were astounded and grateful for all the people who tried to help them win.

"It's a wonderful community," said Kevin, noting a majority of the calls were from Oxford residents. "Thank you very much to everybody that called. We feel very welcomed here."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader.
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