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The 15 Craziest Things You Never Knew About the Super Bowl

Everyone knows that the Super Bowl is the biggest game of the year. But there's a lot even the biggest football fan may not have heard about the big game. Here are craziest and most interesting Super Bowl facts to keep you going until kickoff.

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The ball is crafted by hand in the U.S.A.

Each step is completed by hand by Wilson craftsmen and craftswomen with the aid of machines at the Wilson Football Factory, located in Ada, Ohio, according to the company.

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Each team gets a lot of balls

Each team playing in the Super Bowl gets 108 footballs, says Kristina Peterson-Lohman, of Wilson Football Factory. Of those, 54 are for practice and 54 are for the actual game. During a typical Super Bowl, 120 balls are used. (The additional ones are kicker footballs, used for all kicking plays.)

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The players drive in style

As a perk, every player in the big game gets a loaner car to drive around during the week leading up to the Super Bowl, says Marlin Jackson, Super Bowl champion with the Indianapolis Colts, who now runs the Fight For Life Foundation Inc. “During Super Bowl XLI, I drove a Cadillac Escalade all week,” Jackson says. 

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What really happens during halftime

Jackson shares that during the season, players use halftime to make adjustments and work out any muscle kinks. But since the Super Bowl Halftime is twice as long as usual, players wait about 20 minutes before doing anything (warm-ups, adjustments, etc.) to time it to the start of the second half.

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Super Bowl = big bucks

You might have known this Super Bowl fact already, but getting to the big game isn’t cheap. The average cost of Super Bowl 50 tickets in 2016 was over $4,700, says Brisa Trinchero, founder of, a ticket sales site.

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But not back in the day…

Tickets for the very first Super Bowl in 1967 cost an average of $6, which was apparently too pricey for many. According to Trinchero, there were 30,000 empty seats!

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Halftime performers make how much?

Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, and even Beyoncé didn’t get paid a single dime to perform at past Super Bowls. But don’t feel too badly for them. Trinchero shares that although they don’t get actual cash, the exposure can be worth tens of millions of dollars, and often the halftime show scores higher ratings than the actual game.

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No e-tickets here

Unlike attending most sporting events today, the Super Bowl only issues and accepts paper tickets, says Trinchero.

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It wasn’t always “super”

“The Super Bowl wasn’t actually referred to as the Super Bowl until Super Bowl III,” shares Trinchero, “At the time, what we now know as Super Bowl I and II were just called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game.”

Check out our countdown of the best history podcasts.

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Six little words

The words “Commissioner,” “Wilson” and, “Made in the U.S.A” have been imprinted on every single Wilson Super Bowl game football since day one, shares Peterson-Lohman.

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The Lombardi Trophy

Peterson-Lohman also says that the football on top of the Lombardi Trophy is the exact size of an official “The Duke” football, which is 55 cm through the middle, 71 cm around the ends. That’s one big trophy!

Find out why North Americans say “soccer” instead of “football.”

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It’s good to be family—or a friend

According to Jackson, players aren’t the only ones who get to enjoy the Super Bowl perks. “Family and friends enjoy the weekend with hotel stays, luxury vehicle loans, and exclusive events,” says Jackson, “They also have the opportunity to attend practice the day before the game—or at least it was this way with the Indianapolis Colts.”

These hilarious golf jokes are better than a hole in one!

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Party time

A ticket to the Super Bowl isn’t the only in-demand ticket that week. According to Trinchero, there are multiple high-profile parties all week long, most with corporate sponsors. You can even purchase a general admission ticket to some of the biggest parties, but it won’t come cheap—Trinchero says these can go for more than $2,000!

Got family members who aren’t football fans? They might want to check out these awesome Super Bowl Sunday alternatives.

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Those crazy-expensive ads

This is another Super Bowl fact you’ve likely heard about before: Those ads are big money. On average, a 30-second Super Bowl spot runs in the millions. The most expensive of all time? A $12.4 million ad by Chrysler in 2011.

Be sure to have these pop culture facts ready for trivia night!

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No ordinary coin will do

Don’t even think of flipping a penny or quarter to start off the Super Bowl. Each game gets its own unique coin crafted by the Highland Mint. The front of the coin features the Lombardi Trophy along with the helmets of the two teams playing. Superfans can purchase a replica coin after the game. Next, check out the worst mistakes in sports history.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest