Minersville native, team win $1M for Super Bowl commercial
A Schuylkill County native was part of a team that won $1 million for its Doritos commercial that was broadcast during Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday.
Tommy Schaeffer Jr., of Phoenix, Ariz., and originally from Minersville, said it wasn't until Monday morning that he found out, although his and another contestant's commercial aired during the game.
"Thank you Schuylkill County," Schaeffer said. "I had non-stop Facebook messages, text messages and emails and I'm pretty sure there's not a person in Schuylkill County that didn't know about it. It's nice to have the coal region blood supporting it."
His commercial, called "Time Machine," was a finalist in the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest and starred a boy named Jimmy who tricks a man, Mr. Smith, into giving away his Doritos for a ride in a cardboard box "time machine."
Mr. Smith is convinced he's in the future when he emerges from the time machine and believes Jimmy has aged into an old man.
Schaeffer said many people may have turned off the game toward the end and missed the second Doritos commercial called "Cowboy Kid."
The rules of the contest stated there was one commercial chosen by Doritos and one chosen by the public, with the public vote being the overall winner.
The announcement was made Monday morning, when they were presented with an oversized check from Doritos on ABC's "Good Morning America."
"It's still kind of setting in," Schaeffer said Monday. "It really hit me today."
Along with the $1 million prize, Schaeffer's team also gets the chance to team up with Marvel on the set of "The Avengers: Age of Ultron."
'A little for everyone'
Schaeffer said that his team split the money, not equally, but by role. Some people had more than one part in the making of the commercial, such as his friend, Ryan Anderson, who was the director and editor.
"A little bit for everyone," he said. "It's still a good pay day."
Counting every person that helped, the cast and crew was about eight people, which Schaeffer said "includes people that went out to Costco and bought us water."
The commercial, which was one of 4,000 entries, cost about $300 to make, most of which was spent on Doritos and water.
According to a previous story, Anderson's son, Gavin, who portrays Jimmy in the commercial, came up with the concept for the commercial.
As for the $1 million, Schaeffer has no plans of buying a new car or house, but will buy health insurance since he's a freelancer and has been without it for several years.
"I think the first thing I'm going to spend a dime on is health care, go to the dentist and just doing regular-person stuff," he said.
He currently works as an audio engineer at his own company, Polymathus LLC.
Some of his other recent projects include a documentary on autism called "Be With Me" that recently premiered in Arizona and took first place in the documentary drama category at the Atlanta Film Festival last year, and a film called "Broken Leg" that will premiere in the next couple months.