In 2000, I won a bear-watching trip to Alaska in a sweepstakes that I didn't even know I had entered!
Somewhere, I had read about Bears magazine, and I bought a subscription for bear-loving Victor. I didn't know that they were having a sweepstakes where some new subscriber would win a bear-watching trip! I was shocked when I got the email telling me I had won. After calling them, I convinced myself that it wasn't some sort of scam.
The only bad part of it was that Victor -- the one who obsesses over bears, the one for whom I bought my subscription, the one indirectly responsible for my winning the trip -- couldn't join me. (Instead, in 2006, Victor and I went bear-watching in British Columbia.) My friend Jerry, who was already planning to be in Alaska visiting his brother at the time of this trip, went along.
It was a fantastic trip. Photos and a map are here, and four of my video clips are on YouTube. And here is the text of the Bears magazine story about the trip.