PICKS FOR TIX: Our winner takes in Atlanta

Some would call it luck, but for Dody Theriot, it is all bout skill.

Move over Chris Berman, the real "Swami" is taking over.


Dody Theriot proved she was the sharpest of all when it comes to predicting college football games. The Hackberry, La. native topped the field of prognosticators winning the 2004 Tiger Rag Magazine Picks for Tix contest.


Through 12 weeks of the college football season, Theriot finished in first place correctly guessing 188-of-240 predetermined games. Her reward, an all-expense paid trip for two to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, Ga.


Theriot's husband, Paul, accompanied her to Atlanta. Paul Theriot was also a participant in the contest, but came up "just" short of the top prize.


"I took Paul with me," Dody Theriot said. "I felt it was only right being that we tied for first and I beat him on the tiebreaker."


Talk about bragging rights around the house?


Theriot said while she and her husband were in Atlanta, they kept busy, including a trip to the ESPN Zone. While at the Zone, Theriot showed she is not only good at picking football games. Turns out Mrs. Theriot plays a pretty mean hand of Texas Hold'Em. Seems the Theriots stumbled upon a card game, World Series of Poker style.


"The only reason we got into it was because it was free," she said. "They gave you free chips to play with and the winner could win $500. It started with 10 tables and we made it all the way down to five tables remaining. By then it was getting kind of late, so we went "all-in" and got out of there. If it wouldn't have been late, I would have played a little different."


She said the trip would have been better had LSU been representing the SEC West in the championship game, but Theriot added she and her husband had a terrific trip.


"That was the only bad thing," Theriot said of LSU not being there. "But we had never been to the championship game and it was just a thrill to be there. The seats were wonderful and the accommodations were outstanding. We want to thank everyone at Tiger Rag for making this trip a memorable one."


With Theriot's success, she said co-workers and friends have said they want to challenge her in next season's contest.


"I have recruited a lot of people that said they want to enter the contest," she said. "Folks are very excited about it."


Theriot was not only the overall winner, but she claimed two weekly prizes as well, twice winning gift certificates to Dreamland Bar-B-Que in Baton Rouge.


"I want to thank everyone at Tiger Rag for being so good to us," she said. "They always kept me informed with what was going on throughout the entire contest and they were always there to answer all of my questions."

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