Thomas Koon thought somebody was pulling a prank.
Instead, he pulled away from Butler County Ford on Friday afternoon with a black 2016 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew pickup “Steelers” truck, courtesy of the Neighborhood Ford Store's “Tough Truck, Tough Team” Contest.
The truck is completely wrapped in Pittsburgh Steelers colors and logos.
“I thought somebody was playing a joke on me when I got the phone call,” Koon, 33, of Butler said. “I get a call on my cell while I'm at work from somebody telling me I won a truck.
“Then I hear a bunch of people clapping in the background. I'm thinking ... pretty elaborate prank.”
But it was real. Koon's name was drawn from the more than 10,000 contest entries. The contest represented all 81 Neighborhood Ford Store dealers, ranging from Western Pennsylvania to southeastern Ohio, north central West Virginia and the panhandle of Maryland.
Participants entered the contest at Steelers training camp in Latrobe, Steelers home games and on the Internet.
The phone call came from Kathleen Wagler, Neighborhood Ford Store president, after Koon's name was drawn during a board meeting.
“I was in shock once I realized I actually won this thing,” Koon said. “I've never won anything in my life.”
Koon entered the contest at Steelers training camp. He has never been a Steelers season ticket holder.
“But I get to a couple of games a year,” he said. “This was the first time I had ever gone to training camp.
“Ford had a big tent there and a woman outside the tent told me and my dad to enter this contest. I filled out my name, address and phone number, handed it to her and forgot about it.”
Wagler said that entries for the truck were submitted from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada via the Internet.
“You had to reside within the demographic area of one of the 81 dealerships to be eligible,” Wagler said. “But that shows just how popular the Steelers are.”
Joseph Thurby, Neighborhood Ford Store Chairman, said this is the fifth year the company has given away a Steelers truck.
Ford has agreed to another four-year partnership with the Steelers, “so the contest will return next year,” Thurby said.
“The number of entries has increased by 200 or 300 percent from the first year we've done this,” he said.
Koon is the first Butler resident to win the contest. He will not be a Butler resident much longer.
The day after he won the truck, Koon was promoted to product support manager of the heavy-equipment company he works for. He will be relocating to Harrisburg this summer.
“It's been a pretty good week,” he said, laughing.
People around town won't be seeing much of the truck, at least for the time being.
“It's going to take up residence in my garage,” Koon said. “No way am I taking it out in this weather.”
Cathy Glasgow, owner of Butler County Ford, was more than happy to host Friday's presentation to Koon.
“Steelers truck, a Butler winner, Butler County Ford ... It all works,” she said.