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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Family tragedy takes luster off Pigskin victory

Advertiser Staff

Dr. Stein Rafto, a radiologist at a Honolulu hospital, picked the winners of all 15 games to win the Pigskin Picks contest.

Rafto, a standout distance runner on the local scene, wins $500 from The Honolulu Advertiser and a trip for two to Las Vegas, courtesy of Non-stop Travel and Worry-Free Vacations.

"I'm happy to have won, but an unexpected death occurred in my family," Rafto said Monday.

A few hours after he received a call from KSSK telling him he'd won, Rafto said he received another call saying his mother passed away in San Diego.

Rafto had just visited his mother, Charlotte, who had been ill.

"It was nice to have seen her a couple weeks ago," he said.

Rafto, who grew up in Makaha as a neighbor to late surfing great Rell Sunn, graduated from Mid-Pacific Institute and Harvard, where he was the captain of the cross country team.

Rafto has been playing Pigskin Picks "since it started" and said his victory was simply "dog luck." He submitted six or seven ballots.

Rafto's ballot was one of seven among 8,631 to pick all games correctly.

The weekly winner usually has his picture taken and makes the selections as a member of the panel. Rafto was busy making arrangements to fly to the Mainland. Second-place winner Spencer Miller will be making the selections.