In the middle of winter, TV adventurer Leon Logothetis relied on the kindness of Sommer for the first leg of his unlikely trip to the Super Bowl.
Logothetis, star of The Next Amazing Adventures of a Nobody on the Fox Reality and National Geographic Adventure networks, is promoting his show by trying to travel from Atlanta to Tampa, Fla., site of the Super Bowl on Sunday, in five days on $5 a day.
He started Tuesday. Producers stripped him of his wallet, credit cards and mobile phone and left him in Atlanta's Piedmont Park. Logothetis found a taxi driver willing to take him to Tampa, but the cabbie drove off after finding out that his rider had only $5 for a ride that probably would cost a few hundred.
Logothetis struck up a conversation on a park bench with Sommer Williams, a laid-off interior decorator now working in a hotel. She bought him a pizza lunch and drove him to her family's house in Macon, Ga., nearly 100 miles away. The family took him out for dinner at a Mexican restaurant and invited him to spend the night on a bed in their basement. He used his $5 to kick in for gas.
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His series is one of several action-adventure shows popular on cable, including Deadliest Catch or Man vs. Wild, that appeal to a sense of wanderlust among people who usually don't venture far from their sofa. Logothetis was a broker in London until he read Che Guevara's road-trip memoir The Motorcycle Diaries and hit upon the idea of documenting low-cost travel.
His first two seasons were about traveling in England and the United States. The season that premiered last Sunday on Fox Reality has him trying to get from Paris to Moscow on 5 euros a day.
“I have to rely entirely on the kindness of strangers,” Logothetis said Wednesday, speaking from the Williams' family phone in Macon. It's not easy: More than a dozen people said they wouldn't help him before he met Williams.
Williams' brother and his friends volunteered to drive Logothetis to Valdosta, Ga., on Wednesday on the next leg of his trip.
Assuming he can make it to Tampa, he'll face his biggest challenge: trying to get into the game. Ticket prices range from $500 to $1,000 a seat.
Does he really think he has a chance?
“That's a very good question,” Logothetis said. “I just have faith that it will work out. If I don't (get in), it's the journey that's the most important thing, the people I meet along the way.”