Akins wins Big Blue Bucket List Grand Prize

Sept. 2, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky fan Evan Akins, 28, of Corbin, Ky., had been to two UK Athletics events his entire life. Now, thanks to Kentucky's Big Blue Bucket List campaign on Facebook, Akins will be able to go to any and every athletic event during the 2010-11 season.

Akins was randomly selected as the grand-prize winner of the Big Blue Bucket List campaign, a social interaction program that includes weekly and monthly prizes in addition to the grand prize season pass, beating out thousands of Kentucky Wildcats fans that registered to win.

"I've only probably been to two games my entire life so it's a dream come true," Akins said. "I was totally shocked I won. When I registered for it, I didn't think I had a chance because there are so many Big Blue fans. When I got the e-mail, I thought this would be a pretty cruel joke to pull on somebody. I was thrilled when I found out it was legitimate."

UK launched the Big Blue Bucket List campaign on Facebook to interact with the Big Blue Nation and become the No. 1 Facebook fan page in college athletics. With a season-long of weekly and monthly prizes still to go, UK's official Facebook fan page, "Kentucky Wildcats" (http://www.facebook.com/UKKentuckyWildcats), has amassed more than 188,000 fans, second only to Ohio State.

To win, Akins clicked "like" on one of the weekly grand-prize reminder posts on UK's fan page. More than 3,400 fans clicked on the final reminder. Akins was selected at random by the UK Athletics Department.

"I've never heard of another school doing anything like that," Akins said. "It's a good thing to be a UK fan."

Akins' phone hasn't stopped ringing since winning the grand prize.

"I've already got people calling up to go with me," Akins said. "I don't know how I will decide who goes with me. I've got a lot of friends and they all want to go now."

Fans can still win weekly and monthly prizes throughout the 2010-11 athletic season, which include everything from free Kentucky gear, sport-specific game-day experience, lunch with Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart, a round of golf with some of UK's coaches at the University Club and more.

UK's Facebook fan page provides fans with recent news, links and the chance to network with other Wildcat fans and Facebook friends. The page features a "wall" for fans to post comments, pictures, videos and even a Kentucky football GAM3DAY Ready game.

Fans and media can join the Facebook page by clicking on the link above or by logging on to www.Facebook.com and typing in "Kentucky Wildcats" into the search engine. Fans and media must have a Facebook account to join.

Facebook is a social networking website that is organized by city, workplace and region to connect and help users interact with other people.

There are many Facebook fan pages and groups dedicated to following the Kentucky Wildcats, but the one listed above is the only Facebook entity that is officially sanctioned by the University of Kentucky Athletics Department.