31-year-old Super Bowl bet finally pays off for Biloxi woman

By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Peggy Byrd always knew a bet she made with her boss 31 years ago would one day pay off dividends.

In 1979, Peoples Bank President Chevis Swetman signed a contract, agreeing to cover all expenses for Peggy and her husband, Rocky, to go to the Super Bowl if the Saints make it to the big game.  So now, Swetman has to pay for end-zone tickets, a three-night hotel stay and transportation to and from the game.

"It's more than a Greyhound bus ticket," Swetman said as he gave the couple some cash for gas.

His cost came to about $7,300.

"It's very painful," he said. "Of course, I never thought I was ever going to have to pay it. I think she's going to have a good time because since the Saints won that Championship game for the Conference, she's been totally worthless around the bank."

"He'll be pouting for quite a long time, but he came through," said Byrd.

The offices at the Peoples Bank in downtown Biloxi turned into a sea of black and gold Thursday morning as Byrd's co-workers saw her off.

"Who Dat say dey going to beat dem Saints. Who Dat?" the group chanted. "Whoo! Go Saints!"

Fellow employees and family members gathered to cheer on the Byrds. The lucky couple is finally Super Bowl bound.

"I'm so touched. This is my day. I've waited so long," Byrd told the crowd as her eyes teared up.

When asked if she ever thought this day would come, Byrd responded, "I kept the faith. Yes, I did. My next bet with him is going to include my family and friends to go to the Super Bowl."

The Byrds will march into Miami in their truck instead of a limo. They prefer to drive rather than fly.

"I gave them some money and said buy cheap gas. It'll go further," Swetman said.

So watch out, Miami! One of our most devoted and loudest Saints fans is heading your way.

"She has been the number one Saints fan ever since I've known her," said Swetman. "I lost the faith 12 years ago, and she converted me back. I'm now part of the 'Who Dat' Nation."

While in Miami, the Byrds will also attend an NFL pre-game party. As for Swetman, he plans to wear the black and gold beads Peggy Byrd gave him, and he'll be rooting for the Saints on Super Bowl Sunday.

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