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June 12, 2008

Local man smacks down $51,998 in WWE contest

06/11/08 — A simple phrase has put a car and a down payment on a house in Will Frank’s hands with the help of Vince McMahon.

“WWE Universe,” the 33-year-old Meadville resident told World Wrestling Entertainment’s chairman, when McMahon telephoned his home during a live TV broadcast Monday night.

Knowing that phrase earned Frank $51,998 in a WWE promotion.

“My mind was racing then,” Frank said as soon as he knew he’d given the right answer. “I thought about paying bills, getting a car and a down payment on a house.”

Frank is one of eight winners in McMahon’s Million Dollar Mania, a give-away on WWE’s “Monday Night RAW” show broadcast on the USA cable network.

To participate, viewers must register on each week and then watch “Monday Night RAW” to acquire the code words necessary to win. Winners are contacted live throughout each Monday broadcast.

Frank doesn’t enter many contests and plays the lottery on occasion, he said. He entered the contest because he’s watched “Monday Night RAW” since he was about 10 years old.

WWE officials contacted Frank just after 9 p.m. and told him to stand by in case McMahon phoned him to ask what the night’s code was. The fateful phone call came around 10:30, Frank said.

As for the odd-numbered winnings, “We did different amounts to make things interesting,” Al Stavola, publicity coordinator for WWE, said Tuesday. “One of our winners won $2.”

While WWE story lines and wrestling matches may not be grounded in reality, Frank’s winnings are. He’ll be paid with a real check from McMahon, not Monopoly money, Stavola said with a laugh.

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