TAMPA, Fla. — Anne Copeland scoffed at her son, Rob, when he returned to his seat having purchased 300 50/50 raffle tickets at this year’s Week 9 matchup in which the family’s beloved Buccaneers suffered a 38-3 blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints.
“How could he spend so much money on raffle tickets,” she thought.
It worked out in a big way.
“$13,000,” she said Monday, recalling his winnings.
That money could come in handy now that those same Buccaneers, who defeated those same Saints in the playoffs before going on to beat the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game on Sunday, are headed back to the Super Bowl.
Copeland remembers the down years. She has been a super fan since 1976. Seeing the Bucs on top of the football mountain again is satisfying.
“I’ve been with them since the inception of the team,” she said, which spans 45 years.
This year, she hopes she and her son, Rob, can score a pair of tickets to Super Bowl LV, which will be played just 10 minutes from the family home at Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs are the first team to play in the Super Bowl in its home stadium.
“It is so exciting. Nobody’s ever done it. When you’re doing something that nobody’s ever done, you’re part of history,” said Copeland, who has a room dedicated to the Bucs in her house and has seen her team play in every NFL city.
The Bucs are back in the Super Bowl for the first time since 2003. It was their only other appearance in the NFL’s championship game. The Bucs defeated the then-Oakland Raiders in San Diego.
“Derrick Brooks is running straight at me with an interception. It was just like oh my gosh. I can’t tell you anything that compared to that. It was just the most amazing feeling,” Copeland said.
Copeland flew out to California without a ticket. She ended up getting one for $800. This year, if she is lucky enough to be one of the 22,000 fans to get into Ray Jay for the game, she’ll have to pay significantly more than that. The tickets are selling for over well over $10,000.
Or, maybe Rob, armed with those raffle winnings, will pay to take mom back to the game.
Copeland's husband, Bob, was never a Bucs fan but was always “a fan of winners.” He loved watching Tom Brady and even bought a No. 12 shirt when the former New England Patriots quarterback joined Tampa Bay in 2020. Cheering for the Bucs has become a family affair in the lead-up to Super Bowl LV.
“I was there for the last one and I said to myself then, I was like, ‘You know, this might be a once in a lifetime thing," Copeland said. "I better make sure and enjoy every minute of it’ and all that kind of stuff but, then it’s like, ‘Okay, well, this needs to happen again’. And it didn’t and it didn’t and I’m like, ‘In my lifetime please!’”
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