NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A soldier from New Jersey got a super surprise just after getting home from Afghanistan all thanks to his mom and bit of good fortune.

Soldier and New York Giants fan Andrew Hamstra, a 22-year-old from West Caldwell, New Jersey just had his wish come true. Hamstra will be heading to watch his team in person in Indianapolis at the Super Bowl.

Hamstra got the tickets from his mom, who wanted to do something for her hero son and entered a local $5 raffle for two tickets to the Super Bowl and won.

“I was like ‘are you kidding me? I don’t believe you,'” Hamstra told CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano, describing his reaction to the good news.

Hamstra’s mom, Nancy, said she was also “in shock” because, in her words, “normally I don’t win things.”

This past year while stationed in Afghanistan as an Army medic, Hamstra never missed a game.

“Makes you feel at home — watching your favorite team, it gives you something to root for,” Hamstra said.

Michael Gordon, with the Rotary Club of Newark, gave Nancy the good news — that she had won the top prize.

“She started crying. She was so overwhelmed that she was able to do something for son,” Gordon said.

When the Giants played in the NFC Championship, Andrew’s friends in the Army didn’t understand why he was nervous.

“I have tickets, if this kick is good, I’m going to the Super Bowl to watch my team,” he explained to his friends.

Andrew’s mom says it’s no coincidence.

“Good things happen to good people,” she said. “Andrew did his part and came back safely, and now he has an opportunity to enjoy the Super Bowl.”

“This kid deserves it more than anyone else I’ve ever met,” said Andrew’s brother, John.

While Andrew’s friends and family admit they’re a little jealous, they say they’ll be cheering him on from home and looking for him in the stands.

Share your thoughts in the comments section below…

Comments (4)
  1. Megan Jones Holt says:

    Thanks to the Rotary Club of Newark for making this dream a reality. I’m a fellow Rotarian and was so excited when I saw this story this morning.

  2. pots says:

    FYI the tax man will come…exoect a “value” of the prize to be determined and a w2 for that amount…figure a tax rate of 35% and if they say the trip is worth 10k expect to get taxed $3,500…be prepaired…

    1. Brooklyn McDirtyshoes says:

      The mom gets taxed, not the kid. She’s gifting him that $10k, which falls under the exemption cap. She would have gotten taxed from winning no matter what she did with the tickets.

  3. Localyocal says:

    Saw this on the early this morning. It was nice seeing something happy on the news for a change. Thank you Andrew for your service to our country. I can’t think of a more deserving young man to have won the tickets. Have a GREAT time!

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