Former Wichitan Jeremy Tomlinson was suspicious when he saw the 316 area code on the call he received Friday night at his home in Colorado.
"Hi, Jeremy, this is Tony Suzuki of Suzuki of Wichita," the voice said. "You just won a Suzuki Kizashi."
"We still have lot of friends in Wichita," Tomlinson explained. "I thought it was one of them playing a practical joke on us."
Suzuki had to work to convince Tomlinson that he'd just won the grand prize in the 2010 Eagle Medallion Hunt.
"It's not a joke at all," Suzuki said into his cell phone. "I just announced it a few seconds ago. You guys won. You won a brand new car.... I'm not kidding. Can you hear the music in the background?"
"When he said, 'Do you hear the music in the background?' — that's when I started to put it together," Tomlinson recalled. "That's when I realized that this is for real.
"I was just overwhelmed."
Tomlinson, a software engineer, was one of 798 contestants who correctly guessed that the medallion was "hidden" at the Korean War memorial in Veterans Memorial Park. His name was selected in a random drawing at the River Festival Block Party.
Tomlinson said his wife, Aimee, is a Clearwater native who has been participating in the medallion hunt since she was a little girl. He said they used vacation videos and the Internet to get their bearings as they conducted their virtual search for the medallion.
Jeremy Tomlinson said he plans to return to Wichita later this year with his wife and their young daughter.
"We're really disappointed that we're not there," he said. "We were going to try to make it down this year, but with a 20-month old, you can only do so much."
The prize for being the first person to submit a correct entry, a 32-inch LCD TV from Hephner TV, went to James Cline of Wichita.
The second person to submit a correct entry was Melissa Lezniak of Wichita. The third person to submit a correct entry was Herb Hawkins of Goddard.