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Accidental bachelor party invitee from Phoenix makes the most of trip

(Twitter Photo)

PHOENIX – A mistaken invitation from strangers sent a Phoenix man across the country for a bachelor party he will remember for a lifetime.

Will Novak raised more then $4,000 in online funding to attend last weekend’s ski party in Vermont.

“They opened the door and I walked through,’ Novak said Tuesday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos.

“It was crazy. These guys go to bed at like 6 in the morning and get up at 8 and they’re like, ‘We’re ready to ski!’ … How are you doing this? They’re so intense.”

The group thought the invitation to Angelo Onello’s party went to their friend who has the same name.

“I sent them back an email as a joke saying I would go,” Phoenix’s Novak said. “I was just trying to make them laugh. They wrote back and said, ‘Come.’”

The next email exchanges, “we kind of were playing a game of chicken,” he said.

But the married father of a 10-month-old daughter didn’t have the means to back up his RSVP. Novak’s wife encouraged him to go.

A friend urged Novak, 35, a project manger in the Office of Economic Development for Mesa, to ask for help on GoFundMe.

Novak did, asking on Jan. 9 for $750 “as a joke to show my buddy that he was an idiot and no one would ever fund it.”

The goal was reached in two hours, he said.

Then, the story went viral.

Novak’s adventure began in earnest when he flew into Boston and got to the rental car counter.

He had reserved a minivan – it was the cheapest set of wheels he could get.

“They said, ‘Hey we see big snowstorm is coming, you’re going to need something with all-wheel drive, right?

“I’m like, ‘I’m happy to pay for an upgrade, I need an SUV. They said ‘We’ve got an SUV for you.'”

They handed him the keys to a Maserati SUV.

“I didn’t even know they made SUVs,” Novak said. “It was like driving a rocket ship. The car was smarter than me.”

He practiced driving in a parking lot before making his way to Ludlow, Vermont.

The next challenge was on the slopes at Okemo Mountain Resort.

Novak skied once before, for a single morning. “I was 14. … I’m going to say that doesn’t really count.”

What counted this time was his name and story.

“The whole town was telling our names. We’re on the ski lift and and girls were yelling at us. It was like being in a boy band,” Novak said.

“It was bizarre.”

Novak said he likely would stay in touch with his accidental friends, especially the other Will Novak.

“We like all the same bands, all the same movies, we have similar political leanings.”

The other Novak, though, hasn’t been the focus of national attention.

Novak has been interviewed by worldwide media — from Great Britain to Australia, and splashed across national and local TV news.

The hospitality Novak was shown by the guys in Vermont could be reciprocated.

Novak’s Coronado neighborhood has invited Onello and his unnamed bride “to come out and will put them up at an AirBnb. They might come out here for their honeymoon.”

He also said the excess funds from the online account would go toward the happy couple’s baby, already on the way.

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