HOUSTON, TX (August 15, 2008) – Continental Airlines today announced that Bill Shiver, a Houston area resident and Continental frequent flier, took home 21 million frequent flier miles as the grand prize winner of its OnePass 21st Birthday Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Shiver, who has been playing poker for four years as a hobby, plans to use some of his winnings toward a Mediterranean cruise, a trip to Italy with friends, and to road football games of his alma mater, Texas A&M University.
“It was a wonderful experience,” said Shiver, “I didn’t talk to anyone – win or lose – who didn’t have a great time. I feel very fortunate and really lucky to be the winner.”
“Continental’s award-winning OnePass frequent flyer program has recognized our customers with outstanding benefits for more than two decades and we look forward to continuing this service for many years to come,” said Jim Compton, Continental’s executive vice president of marketing. “We wanted to celebrate the 21st birthday of OnePass in a big way and are pleased to award 21 million OnePass miles to Bill Shiver.”
Prizes totaling more than 25 million OnePass miles were awarded to the top finalists in the tournament that drew 243 players. Second place winner, David Michaels of San Francisco received one million OnePass miles. Other top ten finalists received prizes ranging from 500,000 to 100,000 OnePass miles, and the top 40 finalists received 50,000 OnePass miles each. Cris Farrell of Houston was the winner of 70,000 OnePass miles in a slot tournament held during the event for players and their guests.
The contest’s grand prize could be redeemed for up to 200 roundtrip BusinessFirst tickets from Houston to Rome, up to 400 roundtrip economy tickets within the United States, or be used to bid on exclusive OnePass Online Auction items including premier sporting events, VIP performing arts experiences and vacation packages.
In addition to the poker tournament, Continental Airlines is offering 21,000 OnePass bonus miles for new members who acquire the Continental Airlines World MasterCard(R) during the 21st birthday celebration. The offer is valid until October 31, 2008. Additionally, as part of the commemoration, OnePass members will receive 2,100 bonus miles when they use a MasterCard(R) card to purchase a First Class or BusinessFirst(R) ticket on continental.com.