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Firefighter from Oswego Wins Dream Car

May 23, 2016 05:29PM ● Published by Shannon Antinori

Oswego resident and Tri-State Fire Protection District firefighter Kevin Arias won a brand-new Dodge Challenger in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles 2015 National Giveaway. (Photo courtesy of FCA)

More than a year ago, Oswego resident Kevin Arias filled out a raffle ticket in Las Vegas on a whim.

“To be honest, I actually wasn't even going to enter," he said. Arias made a last-minute decision to go ahead with the gamble."I'm one of those guys, I never win anything," he said.

That changed earlier this year, when the firefighter and father of two found out he’d been chosen as the winner of the 2015 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) National Giveaway. Each year, the winner of the giveaway receives a $45,000 voucher toward the brand-new vehicle of their choice.

Arias, who works for the Tri-State Fire Protection District, entered the raffle at the 2015 SHOT Show, a shooting, hunting and outdoor trade show in Las Vegas. As the winner, he got his pick of a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, FIAT or Alfa Romeo – and said it wasn’t a tough decision.

On Friday, Arias picked up his 2016 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack at Tyson Motors in Shorewood.

“I’ve always wanted a sports-type car, ever since I was a kid,” he Arias. “I always dreamt, maybe one day.”

But it was just before winning the raffle that Arias said he had given up on that dream, telling wife, Connie, he didn’t think he’d ever get his hot rod.

“I just kind of said matter of factly, ‘I don’t think the sports car is ever going to happen,’” Arias recalled. But in February, Arias got the winning call from FCA. “I had totally forgotten about it,” Arias said. 

When he received a voicemail about his big win, Arias said he thought it was a scam. He realized it was the real deal when the caller mentioned the SHOT Show in Las Vegas.

“The whole thing has been surreal,” he said. "(Connie said) you have to pick something that says, ‘I won a car,’ you can’t pick something boring.'"

Arias said he is keeping his old car for everyday use. He'll drive the Challenger on special occasions, like taking his daughters for ice cream.

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