The Vikings’ victory over the Saints on Sunday has been dubbed a “Minneapolis Miracle,” but some fans think it was a “Millie Miracle.”
Millie Wall, the 99-year-old fan who was surprised by the Vikings with tickets to Sunday’s playoff game, received another surprise of a lifetime. Wall and her granddaughter Ashley Wall were approached by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell while in their seats during the game. Goodell handed Millie two tickets to Super Bowl LII.
“She was overwhelmed, in a good way,” Ashley Wall said. “It blew her away.”
And now, Vikings fans counting on Millie’s good luck want to send her to Philadelphia for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the Eagles. On Monday morning, the Vikings officially invited Millie to the game, according to Ashley Wall. After talking it over with her family and giving it some thought, Millie declined the invitation.
“The biggest deciding factor is her age and the importance for her to create memories with her family,” Ashley Wall said.
The “Millie Miracle” started last week when the Vikings team gave the longtime fan tickets to the divisional playoff game against the Saints to celebrate her upcoming 100th birthday.
After word got out that a die-hard nonagenarian Vikings fan would be at the game, fans looked to Millie as a beacon of hope.
As Millie entered U.S. Bank Stadium to watch her first Vikings playoff game and first game in the new stadium, fans treated her like a hometown hero, high-fiving her and taking her picture.
“I’m so shocked,” she said last week after receiving the gift. “This is right out of a movie.”
The national Fox broadcast highlighted Millie’s story and panned to her several times during the game. She had her trusty yellow foam brick nearby and her signature drink in hand: a screwdriver with a splash of cranberry.
In past seasons, Millie said she’s thrown the brick at the TV so much that she tied a string to it so that she wouldn’t have to get out of her chair to retrieve it.
Millie had plenty of reasons to throw her brick in the second half of the game, but then receiver Stefon Diggs made an improbable, last-second, game-winning touchdown catch.
“We were right in front of it when it happened,” Ashley Wall said. “We looked at each other, we froze and our mouths dropped, but this time in a good way.”
After the incredible Vikings win, Millie was widely considered a bona fide good luck charm.
Vikings fans lit up Twitter with calls for the Vikings to “send Millie to Philly” and calling her the adopted grandma of “Vikings Nation.” The game-winning play was dubbed the “Hail Millie” and the hashtag #MillietoPhilly was born.
Meanwhile, at a bar in St. Louis Park, a group of friends watching the game decided to start a GoFundMe fundraiser to send Millie to Philadelphia for Sunday’s game.
“Our hero and inspiration Millie, led our Vikings to an unbelievable and unforgettable victory,” Trevor Stewart wrote on the page. “We owe Millie another day on the gridiron and most importantly, our team needs her.”
Since Millie has decided not to make the trip, Stewart said the proceeds will be donated to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. By early Monday evening, $1,700 had been raised.
Millie will be watching the game with her family — and her foam brick and cocktail. And she has every intention of attending the Super Bowl in Minneapolis.
“Her dedication and optimism will not waver as she cheers the Vikings on from afar and she will continue to remain the positive force the Vikings need on game day,” said Ashley Wall.