First-time winners take week 3 of Pro Picks |

First-time winners take week 3 of Pro Picks

Staff Reports

Two veteran Pro Picks contest players claimed their first wins ever in Week 3 of the Pro Picks contest, and the Carson Station winner didn’t even need the Monday night tiebreaker to win her $250 in first-place winnings.

Ali Vitrano of Carson City got all 13 Sunday selections correct to claim the Station’s top prize without having to go to the tiebreaker.

“I play and my husband Phil also plays the contest, and we have for three years,” said Vitrano. “Phil was second once two years ago and I was second twice last year and third once the year before, but this is my first win …. It feels good to finally win.”

Vitrano is 54 and was born in Warsaw, Poland. She and Phil, 67, have been married 20 years and have seven children and 10 grandchildren.

“I came to the U.S. when I was 13 years old and we moved to Carson City eight years ago from Milwaukee,” she said. “We’re both retired. I was a nurse for over 20 years. I do watch the games, check the injury reports and make my picks and this week I got lucky. I’ll use my winnings for Christmas gifts for the family.”

There was a tiebreaker for second and third at the Station with 12 Sunday winners needed to get into the tiebreaker. Second place and $150 was won by Carson City’s Joe Maez and Patty Herron of Carson City was third and won $100. There were 917 entries at the Station.

— At the Pinon Plaza it took 12 Sunday winners to get into the tiebreaker and the husband/wife team of Tom and Barbara Andersen from Carson City finished 1-2 for the week. They actually tied for first place, but Tom won the coin-flip to claim first place money of $250, while Barbara gets $150 for second place.

“We’ll split the money equally,” said Tom, who is 45 and was born in Bryant, Texas, the home of Texas A&M University. “Barbara was born in Chicago and we’ve been married 17 years. We both have played the contest for three years, play every week, and this is the first win ever for either of us and the first second for one of us too.”

They have two children, Brett, 13, and Kurt, 8. The family moved to Carson City in 1992 from Los Angeles. Tom works for R.E. Dixon in Carson City as a mechanical engineer. Barbara is a realtor with Charles Kitchen Real Estate in Carson City.

“We’ll use our winnings to have some fun and take the kids to Magic Mountain,” added Tom. “I make my picks by feel and have no set pattern. Mostly hunches and luck when I’m right.”

Third place and $100 at the Plaza went to Carson City’s Bonnie Heferer. There were 974 entries at the Plaza.

— Free entry forms are published daily in the Nevada Appeal Sports section. Complete rules are published every Friday and Sunday. Winners can claim their prize money at the gift shop where they won after 10 a.m. today.