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USA: San Antonio Resident Cracks Jack Daniel's Safe and Wins $100,000

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With the turn of a dial, Steven Sanchez of San Antonio, Texas, became $100,000 richer today at the Jack Daniel Distillery. Sanchez was one of 34 national consumer finalists who traveled to Lynchburg to attempt to crack the old safe that led to the death of renowned whiskey distiller, Jack Daniel.

The sweepstakes, which was the second of its kind for the nation's oldest registered distillery, tied into the interesting death of the distillery's founder, Jack Daniel. In 1905, Mr. Jack kicked his safe after unsuccessfully struggling to open it. He broke his toe. Infection set in, eventually killing him in 1911.

"Jack Daniel's has always emphasized its history and heritage," said Erin Schlader, Jack Daniel's brand manager. "This sweepstakes continues that tradition by allowing us to educate consumers about the true history of Mr. Jack Daniel in a unique, fun way."

The safe-cracking finalists qualified through participation at bars, restaurants and retail accounts as well as through national consumer magazines, local radio and Internet contests.

Sanchez, 24, and his wife Holly said they were planning to buy a house with the $100,000 prize. As Sanchez made the last nervous turn on the dial for the final letter of the winning combination, the dial stopped after only one turn -- and he knew he was the winner.

"I'm just too happy. I was hoping that I had put it on the right letters (of the combination) that were being called out," said Sanchez, a native of New Braunfels. "We're going to buy a house, pay some bills we owe, and then invest the rest. And, I'm going to go back to school in January. We'll probably even take a vacation."

Holly Sanchez said that winning the trip to Lynchburg through a local radio station was more than she ever expected.

"When Steven called in and won the chance for the trip to Lynchburg, I was just happy with winning the trip. I have never been out of Texas before," she said. "But I'll take the trip -- and the money. It just doesn't get any better than this."

Officially registered by the U.S. Government in 1866, Jack Daniel Distillery, Lem Motlow, proprietor, is the oldest registered distillery in the United States and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Based in Lynchburg, Tenn., the Jack Daniel Distillery is the maker of the world-famous Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey, Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey, and Jack Daniel's Country Cocktails.

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