Ellen Degeneres to give away Vancouver Games closing ceremony tickets
NELSON, B.C. — Comedian and talk show host Ellen Degeneres will auction off two tickets this week to the closing ceremonies of the Vancouver Games, thanks to the generosity of a Nelson, B.C., businessman.
Larry Gorrill won four tickets to Sunday’s closing ceremony and was having a hard time figuring out what to do with the extra two tickets he didn’t need.
“For two years my friends have been bothering me, asking who I’m going to take,” Gorrill said.
So, not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings, Gorrill came up with another way of getting rid of the tickets.
“I watch the Ellen Show all the time,” he said. “So I woke up one day and thought I’d email (Ellen) and see if she wants to go.
“I just had my first cup of coffee and I thought, ‘Canada loves you and you help a lot of people. I’d love to be the ambassador for Canada if you want to come to the closing ceremony.”’
Gorrill wrote an email, hit the send button, and never expected to hear back from the comedian. Then, last Friday, he got a call from her producer.
“He said Ellen was happy I sent the email but due to scheduling conflicts she can’t attend. But she was so overwhelmed by my generosity that she’d love to have me on the show,” said Gorrill.
He declined the invitation, citing obligations to his business and his own trip to the closing ceremony.
The producer suggested an alternative — give the tickets away to two lucky audience members at the taping of Friday’s show at NBC’s studio in Burbank, Calif., and send them to Vancouver for the closing ceremony with Gorrill as their guide.
They’ll record the experience on video camera to share with the show later.
Gorrill said he’ll be sitting with Ellen’s guests and is excited to show them around Vancouver, where he lived for 17 years before moving to Nelson, in the southeast corner of the province.
“I think whoever they send, they’ll be fun and it will be a once in a lifetime chance for them to do it,” Gorrill said.
He’s pretty excited himself to be going to the Games.
“It’s been two or three years in the running so I can’t wait. I’m going down there Friday and staying with family and friends.”
Gorrill sent the tickets off to the show’s producer earlier this week and also threw in a little present, courtesy of the City of Nelson.
“I went to the mayor’s office... and got four pairs of red (Olympic) gloves and sent them directly to (Ellen),” he said. “Two are for her and two are for the audience members coming to Vancouver on Friday.”
Gorrill, owner of the Funky Monkey Burger Bar, said he hopes the stunt helps put the Kootenay region city on the world map.
The closing ceremonies take place Sunday at 9:30 ADT at B.C. Place. Tickets to the event sold originally for between $175 and $775.