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Geneine Dietz, a lifelong Cubs fan who spent 10 seasons ushering games at Wrigley Field, plunked down $10 on a raffle ticket and scored an authentic, player-grade 2016 World Series ring valued at $70,000.
Dietz's winning ticket — #001907 — was drawn randomly from more than 25,000 entries. Fans paid $10 per entry to have a chance to win a Cubs championship ring that boasts 5.5 carats of diamonds, 3 carats of genuine Burmese rubies and 2.5 carats of genuine sapphires in a handsome red, white and blue design.
Ironically (and somewhat eerily), the winning ticket number matches the year the Cubs won their first World Series. The club also won in 1908, and then suffered through a championship draught that lasted an agonizing 108 years. The number "108" was so significant that Jostens designed the 14-karat white gold ring with a slew of symbolic elements, including 108 diamonds surrounding the bezel on all sides.
“My friends and family are giddy with excitement and I can’t wait for them to see the ring for themselves,” the Wilmette, Ill., resident said in a statement. “For generations to come, I know my family will take special care of the beautiful World Series ring.”
A photo of Dietz provided by the Cubs, shows the dedicated fan trying on her enormous ring. It's probably fair to say she won't be wearing it around the house.
During the 2016 World Series, the Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in seven games after coming back from a 3-1 deficit. The final game went into extra innings, but the Cubs prevailed 8-7.
“Last year’s World Series journey was remarkable and so is the dedication of our fans," Cubs executive vice president of community and government affairs Mike Lufrano said in the statement. "We launched the ring raffle to give them the unique opportunity to win arguably one of the most prestigious championship rings in all of sports with proceeds benefiting Cubs Charities. We are thrilled to share this special player-grade ring with a lifelong Cubs fan who will get to treasure this piece of history with her family and friends.”
When the 2016 World Series rings were originally revealed at the start of this year's baseball season, a Jostens vice president noted that the company had the responsibility to create a once-in-a-lifetime ring for the Cubs organization.
“This iconic piece of jewelry uses intricate craftsmanship to tell the unforgettable story of the Cubs’ World Series victory, which now takes its prominent place in the history of all professional sports," said Chris Poitras, Jostens Division Vice President, College & Sports.
The World Series ring raffle, which ran from July 7 through September 4, generated more than a quarter-million-dollars for Cubs Charities. The charities are dedicated to improving the lives of children and families across Chicago and beyond. They provide increased access to sports opportunities and target improvements in health, fitness and education for those at risk.
Credits: Geneine Dietz images via Twitter.com/Chicago Cubs; Ring image courtesy of Jostens.