22-year-old, living at home with mom, joins Army with brand new Mercedes

Nate Vila is bringing home a little something for the holidays after pulling off some on-ice magic Friday night in Springfield, Mass.

Vila was selected from the crowd during the second intermission of the Springfield Thunderbirds’ AHL game for a chance to win a brand new Mercedez-Benz SUV.

All he had to do was shoot a puck through a narrow slot and into the net from beyond the far blue line — something that makes a half-court shot look like a layup.

But there were no airballs, wide shots or other blunders in this Shoot to Win contest. Vila’s attempt found the back of the net and sent the fans of the Florida Panthers affiliate into a frenzy.

“I’m 22 and live with my mom and grandma,” Vila said after claiming his prize, according to Masslive.com. “I’m joining the Army in a few weeks and will be reporting to Fort Benning, Ga., for at least a four-year enlistment. Pretty much that has been my main focus … until tonight!”

Vila’s new ride may not be able to find a home at Benning during his training, but he can now look forward to seeing a ton of push-ups when he pulls up to his first duty station in it.


  • Michael Swaney

    Michael is an Army veteran and the Director of Content for Bright Mountain Media LLC

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