SportsQuest for the Cup

Actions

Lightning fan wins one-in-a-million raffle, championship ring

Lt. Garth Swingle
Posted at 9:21 PM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 23:23:05-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — To say St. Pete Fire Rescue Lt. Garth Swingle "likes" the Tampa Bay Lightning Bolts is an understatement.

"I've been a fan since they came to the expo hall back in 1992...1993," he said.

And like any superfan would when offered the chance in early 2021 to win a custom championship ring—Lt. Swingle entered the raffle and won.

"I didn't believe them at first. I said 'Who put you up to this?'" he said.

Several months and ring fittings later and Swingle got his ring from none other than former bolts captain Dave Andreychuk.

"He's handing me this ring and he was an idol of mine, knowing that he had so many records, hall of fame, and he hands me this ring and I take this ring and hold it in my hand and it blew me back," he said.

Swingle said he was so dazed at that moment he didn't even realize one of his favorite songs was playing at the rink!

He also adds that he now knows a few things to be true.
1. Incredible things can happen to everyday people.
2. The Bolts could become a legendary three-peat team.

"It's unheard of, it's unheard of to think about being a dynasty. Being the number one in that sport for that amount of time is just unheard of," he said.

And don't worry because like any superfan would, Swingle's got a surefire superstition to make sure "lightning" strikes a third time for Tampa Bay.

"My number one superstition now that I have the ring I wear it and I specifically wear it on a specific finger and if we're not doing well I switch it to another finger, he said, "If things aren't going right, I'm switching it. And I'm going over to the pointer finger."

Swingle said so far the Bolts have won each time he's worn the ring this way.

The Lightning Foundation tells ABC Action News that they've done this ring raffle twice so far and depending on the outcome of this quest for the cup, we could see a third one in the future.