A celebrity meet-and-greet can be a really special experience. I'll know I'll never forget meeting my favorite boyband member at a local fair in high school. However, while saving up your money for a ticket is exciting, winning a meet-and-greet would make it even more magical.
Recently, Redditor u/Alivinshotjuicebox asked, "People who have won a 'win a day/date with a celebrity' competition, how was it?"
Here are 15 of the best repsonses:
Disclaimer: These stories have not been verified. The users are supposedly speaking from their own experiences.
1."I went to school with the president of the Dolly Parton Fan Club and bought a raffle ticket from her for 'Dinner with Dolly' in Pigeon Forge. I won and got to meet Dolly, and she is honestly the kindest, most easygoing, and most fun person to be around ever. It was like having dinner with a really close aunt."
"She is also really, REALLY tiny in person — like 5' even. She loves to talk about her home and upbringing. (She bought the theme park that is now Dollywood to save the town of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to preserve it and keep it from getting absorbed by Gatlinburg.) Dinner lasted for like four hours, but it felt like minutes. I think Mrs. Parton easily belongs up on a pedestal with Bob Ross, Fred Rogers, etc."
2."This was about 10 years ago. I won a meet-and-greet with Britney Spears before her concert through the local radio station. We were warned on the night by one of her staff that she can be rather shy, and it was 50/50 as to whether we'd actually get the meet. We were in luck. We got to meet her very briefly, took a couple of snaps where she put her arms around us, and then watched the gig front row."
"She was much smaller than you think and was lovely in that little moment. Show was excellent too. Thanks Britney."
3."I won a Skype call with Bella Thorne by donating about $1,000 to a charity. I wanted to donate the call to my local school because I lived in a very poverty-stricken area and knew the kids would love it. Most of the kids had never even seen a stoplight or been to McDonalds, so the concept of talking with a celebrity was a dream come true. The school had about 40 high schoolers in the entire school. They were basically just going to let a few of the kids ask her questions that all of the kids collectively chose. She (or her agent or whatever) refused. So I refused to accept the call."
"The agent said they MAY be able to work something out. I passed along contact information to the school in case she changed her mind, but the kids I talked to said they never got to Skype her; so I guess the call didn't happen. The money still went to charity. Still disappointed with Bella Thorne."
4."In 2001, my wife (who was in fifth grade) won a storytelling contest for submitting a piece about her best friend to a 'girl power' magazine. She and her friend were flown out to LA and got to spend a day on the set of Lizzie McGuire and meet Hilary Duff. Unfortunately, my wife grew up in a 'no TV' household, so this was a basically meaningless encounter for her, but she said that Hilary was great, and that it was a really fun experience!"
5."Won a meet and greet with Lenny Kravitz backstage, just prior to one of his Australian concerts. It was awesome. The tour manager came and got us just after. The Cranberries had finished their set and took us backstage, where we waited beside a whole heap of their road cases. Lenny appeared from his backstage room. He was shorter than I anticipated. He was super friendly with us, posed for photos, spoke to us, and was one of the most humble, laid-back people I ever met."
"He then walked on stage and killed it."
6."I won a lunch with George Takei through a charity auction. We met for lunch on the Paramount lot in Los Angeles. The auction was through a Japanese organization, so he ended up spending a lot of time talking about his experience with WW2 internment camps. It was really interesting to hear his perspective first-hand. Star Trek never came up, which is fine because I'm more of a Janeway fan than a Kirk fan. After lunch, he took us (there were three of us total, me and two friends) for a tour of the studio lot. There wasn't any Star Trek stuff to see, except for one really neat little tidbit. He showed us where they filmed the part of Star Trek IV where, at the end of the movie, the crew is splashing around San Francisco Bay with a bunch of out-of-time whales. Turns out, it's just part of the parking lot at the studio. It's inset, so they flooded it. There is a big wall behind the lot that they painted to look like the sky."
"Finally, before we left, George insisted that we have something autographed by him. We all went into the studio store together. He looked around, trying to find anything Star Trek related, but he couldn't (this was several years ago, before the new movies came out). He walked up to the lady working the register, and he said, using that very distinctive voice/tone of his, 'Hello, ma'am...do you have anything Star Trek related?' She looked at him oddly, probably a little starstruck. She didn't respond. George was looking a little hurried and annoyed. 'You see,' he said, 'I was on the show!' Cue everyone breaking into hysterical laughter, except him.
Yeah, yeah...maybe you had to be there to appreciate it, but there was something remarkable about the way he almost apologetically asserted himself. He was humble and lovable, a true character. Having lived in LA for several years at the time, I'd met a lot of celebrities, but none of them ever were as gracious as Mr. Takei."
7."Got to meet some cast members from Back to the Future on the 25th anniversary tour thanks to winning a radio contest. Christopher Lloyd didn't seem like himself due to illness, unfortunately, but Lea Thompson is an absolute sweetheart in person."
8."I won a Seventeen Magazine contest to meet Sarah McLachlan on her tour bus at Lilith Fair. I was a huuuuuge fan, and it was a thrill. She was really kind to me, despite my being a nervous, stammering wreck. I gave her my favorite necklace, and she wore it on stage that night."
"It was seriously a teenage dream."
9."My parents won a competition to fly with the Black Eyed Peas to their concert. They had a good time and briefly held the world record for highest altitude karaoke."
"But here's the best bit — not only did they meet up and hang out with the band, but Redfoo was also on the flight (before he got famous), and he even refilled my mum's champagne."
10."So I have been a big fan of Reba since I was 5. As a member of the fan club, I had a chance for backstage passes, and I got them when I was 8. So, my parents took my sister and me to her concert with John Michael Montgomery, and because I was 8, I fell asleep before the end. So next thing I knew, I woke up on the way home and found out they didn't wake me, and my sister and mother got to meet Reba. They weren't even fans!"
"I'm still pissed they didn't wake me!"
11."Not a date as such, more a phone call. I saw on Hozier's Twitter he was doing a 'ring this number and I'll answer' thing. Saw some people tried literally hundreds of times, so I thought why not? I got through first time. Our conversation lasted a minute. I spent half the time asking if it was really him then just said, 'So... how's things?' He briefly answered me then hung up."
12."In college, I won a contest to meet Graham Chapman of Monty Python. It was one of the great experiences of my life. He was a really sweet, low-key guy. He didn't act at all like a comedian — he was a bit stiff and formal, almost like a doctor. Very kind and polite, but seemed a bit uncomfortable being a room with a handful of awestruck college kids. I made a silly crack about how sad the hors d'oeuvres were, and he laughed out loud. So now, for the rest of my life, I can say I made Graham Chapman laugh."
"It was barely a year later that he died. I was devastated, but it will always be a deeply treasured memory. I have his autograph framed on my wall.
13."When I was 10 years old, I was a huuuuge Star Wars fan. My mom happened to be dating a dude who was pretty into the convention circuit at the time, and so he took me to a Star Wars convention. This was '96. Cons weren't a huge thing, but the lineup of cast was actually pretty good. Among them were Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Kenny Baker (R2-D2), David Prowse (Darth Vader), and Jeremy Bulloch (motherfucking Boba Fett). I'll never know if we actually won this contest or if Mom's boyfriend pulled some strings, but he disappeared for a minute and came back saying we won a dinner with the cast at the Spaghetti Factory (my favorite restaurant at the time)! As we were leaving, we saw Jeremy Bulloch walking through the parking lot. We pulled over and asked what's up, and he said he missed the bus to the restaurant, so he's going to skip it. HELL NO, we gave Boba Fett a ride to dinner."
"There I was, crammed in a bench seat of a pickup with my goddamn idol, and he was this totally weird, old British dude. He kept whistling softly and then saying, 'I think I hear a bird!' and then like, looking for the bird? I guess he was trying to entertain me, but I was too starstruck to understand what the hell was going on.
Dinner was awesome. I sat across from Kenny Baker, and I remember being amazed at how tall and beautiful his wife was. Peter Mayhew was the coolest. He was wearing a tie-dye Chewbacca shirt, and he went out of his way to come and joke around with me. I haven't seen it in years, but I used to have a picture of him giving me noogies. Just the friendliest dude.
Everyone was super cool, but at 10, I spent most of it being quiet and shy and not understanding most of the grown-up talk. It was still one of the greatest experiences of my life."
14."Got free tix and backstage private meet-and-greet with B.B. King at the House of Blues in Chicago. After the show, I got escorted up above the stage and through some catwalks by a huge bouncer dude. B.B. was super chill and cool. He was eating applesauce and cheese cubes. We got a picture, and I thought that was pretty much it. When he found out we were both from Mississippi, he invited me to sit down and shoot the shit with him about our favorite MS restaurants in my hometown, Biloxi, which he had been to a bunch of times on tours."
"Anyways, just a really cool, laidback dude."
15.And finally: "Back when the Spice Girls were big in the early 2000s, they were in town for a concert. A local radio station was doing a contest where you call in to win 'breakfast with the Spice Girls.' I was a young teenage boy back then, who was at home sick from school that day, so for shits and giggles, I decided to call to try to win. I ended up winning. The radio station asked me my address and said the tour bus would be in front of my house in an hour. I was nervous as shit because the Spice Girls were about to be at my house, and I was just here all alone. Mind you, I am the shyest person you will ever meet, and a tour bus full of the hottest girl band on the scene was about to be at my house."
"So the bus finally arrives. Only it wasn't really the Spice Girls. It was four old ladies who called themselves the Spice Girls, and they were cooks. They ended up making scrambled eggs, pancakes, and toast for me on the tailgate of their bus. It was the strangest, weirdest, most awkward thing ever. And no one but me was there to witness it."
Have you ever won a meet-and-greet with a celeb? What was it like? Share your stories in the comments!
Some entries have been edited for length/clarity.