Hilton Head resident wins custom Orange County chopper

mmcnab@beaufortgazette.comSeptember 12, 2013 

Brad Ricks thought someone was playing a prank when he got a voicemail saying he had won a custom chopper motorcycle.

Ricks, of Hilton Head Island, said he deleted the message, believing it to be a joke because he "had never won anything in my life before."

That is, until last month.

After several more calls and voicemails from GAF Roofing territory manager Wes Marable, Ricks found out he had been plucked from a pool of 16,000 entrants as one of five grand-prize winners.

His reward from GAF's Text-for-a-Bike Sweepstakes was a custom, GAF-inspired Orange County Choppers motorcycle worth about $30,000.

Ricks was formally presented the bike Thursday outside Rowe Supply in Okatie, a roofing-materials store where he first learned of the contest. The president and CEO of Fortitude Roofing and Restoration, Ricks entered the contest in mid-May after spotting a flier on it in the store.

"I told Brad he buys a lot of GAF products, so he should enter," Rowe Supply's Nancy Pekera said. "He sent in a few texts, and in August, we found out he had won. After I found out, I called him up and asked him if he would go buy a lottery ticket for us."

Ricks said he received a voicemail from Marable in August saying he had won. He deleted the voicemail, thinking it was a joke, only to receive more messages from Marable.

"I still didn't think it was real," he said. "It took a lot of convincing."

After finishing the necessary paperwork and licensing, Ricks was given the motorcycle Thursday, about two weeks after learning of his good fortune. Because he found out about the contest at Rowe Supply, that was the natural location to present the motorcycle, he said.

GAF regional manager Noreen Spuhler said the chopper Ricks won is a replica of a custom bike that Orange County Choppers owner Paul Teutul Sr. made for GAF Roofing in a December episode of the Country Music Television show "Orange County Choppers."

After the episode aired, GAF commissioned Orange County Choppers to build five more of the bikes for the contest.

"It's a way to reward our good customers," Marable said. "Rowe Supply is a great customer, and Brad is a great contractor."

Even though he had seen photos of the bike before, the unveiling of the real thing surprised Ricks.

"It is awesome," he said. "Every time I look at it, I see something new. It's crazy."

Ricks said he has ridden motorcycles on and off his entire life. But riding the motorcycle home from Rowe Supply would be his first experience on a chopper. Ricks said he was "a little nervous," joking that he was waiting for everyone to leave before trying to ride away.

Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.


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