The Times of Northwest Indiana / Natalie Battaglia
Rich Sivulich won NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon's 2008 personal Corvette in a raffle benefitting pediatric cancer patients.
A die-hard NASCAR fan from Northwest Indiana recently won driver Jeff Gordon's $82,500 Corvette in a raffle and -- unlike some unlucky Oprah audience members -- won't be swallowed up in taxes after receiving his shiny new ride.
That's because, as part of the deal, Gordon himself covered the cost of all taxes and licensing fees for the recipient -- which was a main concern for winner Rich Sivulich, a retired teacher, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports.
Sivulich has been regularly buying three $100 tickets each year in a annual raffle that benefits pediatric cancer patients at Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital in North Carolina, the Times reports. But this time, the former football and wrestling coach from Highland Ind., decided to only buy one.
He said he was in disbelief when he received a phone call from Gordon and his foundation's director a few weeks ago, according to the Times.
"I was going to the Web site to see if I won when the phone rang," Sivulich said. "I thought they were calling for another donation, but they said I won."
"I was kind of losing my breath," Sivulich said. "I thought someone was playing a joke on me."
Two weeks ago, Sivulich was flown to Dallas to receive the keys of Gordon's personal Corvette right before the start of the NASCAR Spring Cup Dickies 500 race at Texas Motor Speedway, the Times reports.
"I sat in the car with [Gordon], and he asked me where I wanted him to sign it," Sivulich said. "His name's right on the dash."
He was then allowed to watch the race from Gordon's starting line suite, the Times reports.
"I've been to races before, but this was really nice, Sivulich said. "I didn't leave with a headache."