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Florida postal worker wins $100,000 ‘fantasy’ fishing

Four years ago, one of Terry Totten’s coworkers, a fellow postal worker, invited Totten to try bass fishing. That day, they caught more than 18 bass on Lake Monroe near Orlando, Florida, hooking Totten on a new hobby that he’s feverishly pursued ever since. Four years later, another one of his co-workers invited Totten to try playing FLW Fantasy Fishing along with a few other coworkers. And his catch? A cool $100,000 for winning the fifth tournament in the FLW Fantasy Fishing seven-tournament season ? all from the comfort of his couch.

Fantasy Fishing? Go ahead and laugh, but consider that Totten, 48, who has played all five FLW Fantasy Fishing tournaments has jumped to 38th place and is now within striking distance of winning $1 million, which will be awarded after the seventh and final FLW Tour bass tournament in mid-August. An avid bass angler, Totten picked 10 professional bass anglers who participated in a weekend Wal-Mart FLW Tour bass-fishing tournament on the Ft. Loudoun-Tellico Lakes, located near Knoxville, Tenn.

“I can’t believe it. All the credit goes to the guys at work who got me to play,” said Totten, a normally reserved 16-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service.” “For anyone who hasn’t tried playing yet, it’s just like fantasy football, only with fish,” Totten added. The real winner may be Totten’s wife, Jayne, who upon learning the news, immediately called dibs on the prize winnings for a new dream kitchen for the empty nesters’ home in Enterprise, Fla., a suburb of Orlando.

“Terry got a new bass boat last year, now it’s my turn,” said Jayne Totten, a full-time homemaker who has dreamed of a new kitchen for many years. As for our winner, he’s content to buy a new fishing rod and reel and some more fishing tackle. The prize winnings also come at a good time as the couple prepares to help their and 2-1/2 year old grandson, Dellick Greer, and their daughter, Jeramie Greer, when her husband, Nathan Greer, an E4 with the U.S. Army’s Third Calvary Division, ships out later this year for this third tour of duty in the Middle East. Greer is currently stationed at Ft. Hood, in Killeen, Texas.

“My parents helped us out when we both left the Army,” Jayne added. “We’re an Army family, and we’re ready to provide all the support our kids need to get through this next tour of duty.” Using a desktop computer rather than a rod and reel, Totten entered FLW Fantasy Fishing game at www.fantasyfishing.com from his home and selected 10 pro bass anglers from among the 200 pro anglers who participate in the Wal-Mart FLW Tour.

Totten earned points based on the real, on-the-water performance of the pros who fished the tour’s fifth four-day tournament. The Ft. Loudoun-Tellico Lakes tournament was won by pro angler David Dudley, a Lynchburg, Va., resident, fishing for the Castrol team. Dudley caught a total of 10 bass weighing 29 pounds, 11 ounces in the final two days of the competition to win a cash prize of $125,000.

Totten not only picked Dudley for his fantasy fishing team, he picked him to win the tournament, an exacta, which earned Totten bonus points. Totten also relied on local Florida pro Scott Martin, who fishes for the National Guard team and finished in second place. Overall, six of Totten’s fantasy fishing pros finished in the top 10 at the Ft. Loudoun tournament ? a first in FLW Fantasy Fishing.

More than 4,000 prizes totaling as much as $7.3 million will be awarded during the course of the FLW Fantasy Fishing seven-tournament season. In addition to millions in cash, other prizes such as Ranger boats; a Chevy Silverado; Yamaha and BRP ATVs and personal watercrafts; hundreds of thousands of dollars in Wal-Mart gift cards; tens of thousands of dollars of free BP gasoline and more will be awarded to the players with the highest point totals earned, based on the placement of their team of 10 professional anglers for each tournament.