Nuggets Fan Trades Van Winkle Bourbon for NBA Finals Ticket
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‘Definitely Worth it’: Denver Nuggets Fan Trades Rare Van Winkle Bourbon for NBA Finals Ticket

NBA Finals

Fans watch during the second half of Game 1 of basketball’s NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat on Thursday in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

NBA Finals tickets aren’t cheap, and neither is rare bourbon, so why not trade one for the other? A Denver Nuggets fan, whose favorite team currently holds a 1-0 lead over the Miami Heat in the 2023 NBA Finals, did exactly that, swapping a bottle of 10-year Old Rip Van Winkle bourbon for a ticket to Game 1 in Denver.

According to 9News, Evan Klumpp initially put the offer on Facebook as a joke but started taking the idea seriously once someone wanted to take him up on the deal.

“When it comes to a Finals ticket it seems like it was a pretty even trade,” Klumpp told 9News.

NBA Finals

Evan Klumpp of Denver traded a bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle for a ticket to the NBA Finals.

Klumpp went to the game solo and ended up in Section 2, a club-level seat.

“I’ll be with people he knew, I haven’t met but still with the energy and anticipation for this game it will be an awesome night,” Klumpp told 9News ahead of the game. “I would say it was definitely worth it. I can always buy that bottle back.”

The Nuggets ended up winning the game Thursday night in dominant fashion, leading the Heat by double digits for most of the game en route to a 104-93 victory.

Van Winkle bourbon bottlings are extremely rare and often go on to sell for exorbitant prices. In December, a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old bourbon was bought for more than $52,000 at an auction.

Klumpp’s Old Rip bottling is on the lower end of the Van Winkle spectrum but is still valuable. While Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year has a suggested retail price of only $69.99, so few bottles are put out that those that are bought for that low price are often resold for much higher prices. According to Wine-Searcher, the average price you’ll find a bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle for in the U.S. is $1,164.

A California man recently was ordered to pay $36,268.75 in restitution fees after being accused of purchasing empty Pappy Van Winkle bottles, filling them with “a foreign substance,” sealing them and reselling them overseas.

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David Morrow is the Editor In Chief of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.