If you’re a college football fan in Alabama, there could scarcely be happier news than hearing that you’ve won tickets to the Iron Bowl, the annual hate-fest between Auburn and Alabama that many consider the most heated rivalry in sports.

But there could hardly be anything worse than finding out that not only are you not really going to the game, you’re going to jail instead.

It happened last week in Lee County, Ala., when a dozen people who had been notified that they won tickets showed up to claim their prizes, only to be arrested by sheriff’s deputies for failure to pay child support, the Opelika-Auburn News reported.

At least a dozen scofflaws were arrested and taken to the Lee County jail, Sheriff Jay Jones told the newspaper. In all, the suspects were more than $270,000 in arrears, officials said.

Video taken at the event shows the “winners” showing up at an office festooned with balloons and Auburn and Alabama colors and welcomed by cheering greeters wearing team gear.

As they were ushered into a room to receive their tickets, they were given the sobering news — they had been caught in a sting.

One by one, they were escorted — some appearing to be in shock — into a garage where a paddy wagon waited to take them to jail.

But hope springs eternal among college football fans, and one man wasn’t about let a little jail time stand in his way.

As he was being escorted to the paddy wagon, he asked deputies, “Do I still get my tickets?”


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