Taking a Flight Like It’s Golden

By United Way of King County, on September 4, 2023 | In Events, News

Some of the 2,300 people who attended United Way of King County’s recent Annual Community BBQ enjoyed more than just food, fun, and festivities. Rubina Johnson of Seattle was among a few folks who reached into the swag bag everyone received upon entry and spotted a glistening golden ticket worth a one-of-a-kind, free prize.

Her prize was a big un’: two free. Roundtrip. main cabin plane tickets to anywhere Alaska Airlines flies.

Golden tickets were randomly placed in swag (a colloquialism for “stuff we all get”) bags at the BBQ assured that a select few attendees would walk away with memorable gifts.

United Way sat down recently with Johnson to chat about her big win.

United Way of King County: Congratulations! What prompted you to attend our second Annual Community BBQ?

Rubina Johnson: I have a daughter who scans [the web] for different events in the area. She told me, “Doug Baldwin and United Way are putting on an event.” She’s a Seahawks fan. So, I thought that it was nice weather and I thought I’d just take my son out and meet up with another parent that has a child. We went down there … and we had a great time, it was so many vendors. I actually knew some of them.

United Way of King County: Who were some of the vendors you knew?

Rubina Johnson: Women United and I knew an individual who was hosting a table for Mary’s Place.

United Way of King County: When did you hear about the golden ticket?

Rubina Johnson: I kept hearing the individual on the [public address] mic say, “Check your bags.” And I felt around in my bag, and the food tickets were small, so I was looking for a small ticket! When I got home, I didn’t think about it. I just kind of chilled. The next day, I started going through the bag, and then my son emptied all of his snacks onto the floor.

And I saw it—there was a ticket! I didn’t know if it was a big prize or a little prize. I just knew it was a prize. So, I sent an email to United Way to find out whether it was still valid.

I’m overwhelmed. I didn’t know what any of the prizes were.

Rubina Johnson

United Way of King County: Now, you’ve got two tickets to anywhere Alaska Airlines flies. What was your first response when you found out?

Rubina Johnson: I couldn’t believe it. I really couldn’t. I just talked to my daughter a week prior because I have a sister in Antioch, California who’s going to be 79 years old. I had mentioned to my daughter, “I feel like I’d like to go there and surprise her.” How did that line up to be able to take the flight? Her birthday is September 6, so if everything keeps lining up and there are no hiccups, we’re going to do this.

I’m overwhelmed. I didn’t know what any of the prizes were. I didn’t know if they told you or if they were listed anywhere. I was just going around to the vendors. That was the nice part [about the BBQ]; the vendors were all situated in a nice area.

Rubina Johnson’s golden ticket prize win marks the third time in 2023 that United Way has given away two free Alaska Airlines roundtrip tickets! Check here for future United Way events to see if you can win great prizes. United Way thanks Alaska Airlines for its sponsorship in providing two free tickets at the BBQ for the second time in as many years and for all who made this year’s BBQ a smashing success!


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