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Roanoke County family set to compete on the Today Show for trip to Japan

The family made a music video to enter the contest for a free trip

ROANOKE CO., Va. – A Roanoke County family is in New York on Wednesday hoping to win a trip to Japan after their daughter who entered an online contest.

You can find out if the Downie family wins because they’ll be featured on the Today Show on Wednesday morning!

Victoria Downie is the ultimate Mario & Nintendo fan! It all started when her mom brought home a Nintendo Wii.

“I fell in love with Nintendo’s storytelling, how they structure their games and the quirky characters. Everything’s so colorful,” said Downie, a junior at Cave Spring High School.

“It was something that we could all do together. We would all pop on the couch and play video games together, spend time together and have a common interest,” said Tricia Downie, Victoria’s mom, who played video games during study breaks with her then boyfriend, who turned out to be her husband.

“We’ve been blessed with a couple of great kids. As a parent, it’s been easy to allow them to play video games as a reward. They help out around the house. They volunteer at their churches. They have a great group of friends. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to share with them,” said Alan Downie.

Victoria’s bedroom is full of things out of video games.

One part of that is her 36 amiibos. For those who may have no idea what an amiibo is, it’s a real-life figurine that can be scanned and imported to be used in certain Nintendo games.

She’s been dreaming of a trip to visit the new Super Nintendo World Universal Studios Japan, opening later this year.

The family made this music video to enter a contest for a free trip.

“I was a little apprehensive about participating in a music video if I can tell the truth. I think our family agreed to participate because we didn’t think she would really win,” said Tricia. “I’m 44. No one needs to see me rapping but if it helped us win or the chance to win or excited about that.”

“I’m really lucky to have such a supportive family. They jumped right in,” said Victoria.

“It was a great family project to work on together. Victoria wrote the script, developed the story board, the ideas and she did all the costumes and found the music. She did everything. We showed up. She told us what to do and where to do it,” said Tricia.

Victoria is in Burton Center’s mass communications program and learned how to create and producer the video thanks to her classes.

“They teach really, really helpful skills if you’re going into communications, television or radio. I owe them a big one on this one,” said Victoria.

“Whether we win or lose, we are embracing the adventure and embracing another epic family opportunity to make memories together,” said Tricia.

The Downie family will compete Wednesday on the Today Show in the 8:30 a.m. half hour.

The family is one of five finalists competing in a Nintendo-themed game to win the grand prize - a trip to Tokyo Japan to visit Universal Studio Japan’s, “Super Nintendo World” opening later this year.

Because you have to be 18 to play, Alan, rather than Victoria is going to compete.

We’ll be cheering them on!


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