Man Who Broke Into School During Blizzard to Help Shelter 24 People Is Gifted Super Bowl Tickets: 'Our Hero'

Jay Withey, Man Who Sheltered 20 in Buffalo School Gets Super Bowl Tickets
Jay Withey, Man Who Sheltered 20 in Buffalo School Gets Super Bowl Tickets

Buffalo Bills/Twitter

Weeks after a blizzard left much of Buffalo under snow, one New York man is being rewarded for his heroic actions during the deadly storm.

Jay Withey was gifted two tickets to the 2023 Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, after he helped save 24 people during the December blizzard.

Withey was trapped in his car in Cheektowaga when he decided to break into a nearby school building to shelter himself and others during the storm.

According to CNN, the blizzard left Buffalo under 52 inches of snow, which trapped people in their cars and left emergency vehicles unable to reach them.

As temperatures dropped to dangerous levels, Withey took shelter in his car with two others before breaking into the school as before the vehicle ran out of fuel.

He left a note for the police, apologizing for breaking into the school and taking supplies.

RELATED: Cops Find Man Who Broke into N.Y. School to Save Motorists Stranded in Blizzard — And Thank Him

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"To whom it may concern, I'm terribly sorry about breaking the school window and for breaking in the kitchen," he wrote in the note.

"Got stuck at 8 p.m. Friday and slept in my truck with two strangers just trying not to die. There were 7 elderly people also stuck and out of fuel. I had to do it to save everyone and get them shelter and food and a bathroom. Merry Christmas," he concluded.

The Buffalo Bills and the regional Highmark branch of insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield presented Withey with Super Bowl LVII tickets to thank him for his heroics.

Jay Withey, Man Who Sheltered 20 in Buffalo School Gets Super Bowl Tickets
Jay Withey, Man Who Sheltered 20 in Buffalo School Gets Super Bowl Tickets

Buffalo Bills/Twitter

In a video posted to the Buffalo Bills Twitter on Friday, former Bills running back Thurman Thomas and his wife Patti surprised Withey with the tickets.

"We love you. We know what you did on Christmas Eve was very heroic and you are our hero, and the Bills and Highmark want to present you with these tickets to go watch the Super Bowl," Thomas told Withey while presenting him with the tickets.

RELATED: Buffalo Mom Calls Target Employees 'Life Savers' for Sheltering Her Family During Blizzard

Withey says he is stunned at how widespread his story has gotten, sharing he didn't expect it to go as viral as it did.

A photo shows a letter written by the Cheektowaga Police Department and shared on their social media accounts that they were trying to reach a citizen named Jay Withey, whose photos shared in the video recording of the school, to ask anyone who knew or saw the person in question to report to the department, in New York, United States on December 30, 2022.
A photo shows a letter written by the Cheektowaga Police Department and shared on their social media accounts that they were trying to reach a citizen named Jay Withey, whose photos shared in the video recording of the school, to ask anyone who knew or saw the person in question to report to the department, in New York, United States on December 30, 2022.

Cheektowaga Police Department/Anadolu Agency via Getty

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"I can't believe the amount of reach-out it got," he said in the video. "I mean, I got thank-you letters from Australia. I can't believe how far it got, but it was wild."

While the Bills are still fighting for their chance to go to the Super Bowl on Feb. 12, Withey can look forward to warm weather at the big game.