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Mo. Gov. to Pay Off Super Bowl Bet

February 6, 2002

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Politicians make playful bets on big sports events all the time. For Missouri Gov. Bob Holden, the hard part has been paying up after the Super Bowl.

Holden backed the St. Louis Rams, who lost to the New England Patriots 20-17 Sunday, and his wager included a local treat called Charlie Gitto’s famous toasted ravioli.

Then Holden learned that acting Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift has an intolerance to gluten; wheat flour is part of the ravioli recipe.

Told of Swift’s condition by The Associated Press, Charlie Gitto Jr. tracked down a recipe for gluten-free flour from Fazio’s Italian Bakery in St. Louis.

``The good governor will have special toasted ravioli that I’m preparing myself,″ Gitto declared Tuesday. ``Nothing is too much trouble to help my good friend Bob Holden show Governor Swift he’s a man of his word.″

After untangling some red tape, Swift will have Missouri wine to wash down the pasta. Holden’s office learned that the Missouri wine he wagered could not legally be brought into Massachusetts because of state liquor control laws.

But Holden spokesman Jerry Nachtigal said Tuesday that Massachusetts arranged to issue a special permit allowing three bottles of red wine from Missouri Norton grapes to be delivered to Swift. Three wineries from the Show-Me State will each provide a bottle, the spokesman said, although the producers hadn’t yet been selected.

``We’re trusting the governor has no grape allergies,″ Nachtigal said, joking.

Missouri politicians stood to win lobster, clam chowder and other treats had the Rams won.

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