Buffalo Bills gives Super Bowl tickets to winter blizzard hero

A man who saved two dozen people from a deadly blizzard in Buffalo, New York, has been rewarded for his heroic efforts.

The Buffalo Bills football team, and a part of the insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield, surprised Jay Withey with tickets to the Super Bowl.

Back in December, Mr Withey broke into a school to shelter himself and 24 others from a blizzard.

The storm killed at least 39 people in the area.

Mr Withey found himself in his truck on 23 December as a deadly winter storm battered Buffalo, leaving many drivers stranded. He, along with a couple of others who were seeking shelter from the storm, stayed in his truck trying to conserve fuel and keep warm.

Growing desperate, he headed into a nearby neighbourhood and knocked on the doors of several houses, but was denied each time.

When fuel ran out he called police assistance, but they said they were unable to help.

Then Mr Withey noticed the school, and broke a window to gain access.

He went out into the snow again to find more people and bring them to shelter.

The group used the school cafeteria for food and water. They left the next morning after the storm calmed down.

Feeling guilty for breaking into the school, Mr Withey left an apology letter.

"I'm terribly sorry about breaking into the school," he wrote. "I had to do it to save everyone."

In a video shared to Twitter last week, Buffalo Bills legend Thurman Thomas told Mr Withey he was a "hero".

Mr Withey said he was surprised how far his story went - even receiving thank you letters from Australia.

Sports team have been known to deliver surprise tickets to fans from time to time.

For the 2022 World Series, two Houston Astros players delivered tickets to a young boy who was hoping to earn enough money from a lemonade stand to go to the baseball game.

In 2021, Tampa Fire Rescue Captain Dan Quatrino was gifted tickets to the Stanley Cup. Mr Quatrino had been part of Tampa's Fire Rescue since 2005 and he hadn't been to a Tampa Bay Lightning ice hockey game in 17 years.

The Super Bowl takes place on 12 February in Arizona.