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Phoenix Zoo tiger picks Oregon to win Fiesta Bowl

Hadiah, the Phoenix Zoo's Sumatran tiger, picks the Oregon Ducks to defeat the Kansas State Wildcats in Thursday's Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. (Screenshot)

The Oregon Ducks now have the blessing of a Phoenix tiger.

Hadiah, the Phoenix Zoo's Sumatran tiger, on Wednesday picked the Oregon Ducks to beat the Kansas State Wildcats in Thursday's Tostitos Fiesta Bowl football game.

Phoenix Zoo spokeswoman Linda Hardwick explains how Hadiah made her pick.

"We had two cardboard boxes with the logo of each team on them," she said. "Inside the box, we put the same amount of fish and meat. We button those up, the zoo keeper then goes back inside and releases the tiger into the area. Whichever box the tiger touches first, that's who the winner of the bowl game is."

Hadiah touched the Oregon box first, making the Ducks the winner. The tiger then immediately walked over to the Kansas State box, took the food out and devoured it. Several minutes later, she returned to the Oregon box and ate what was inside.

So far, Hadiah has a record of 2-1 in picking bowl game winners, dating back to last year. She correctly predicted Michigan State to win last week's Buffalo Wild Wings bowl at Sun Devil Stadium.

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About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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