Drew Brees missed his favorite sandwich from college so much that he became a restaurant franchisee to bring it to New Orleans.
Popular sandwich shop Jimmy John's is known for its tight delivery radius – each individual restaurant will only deliver within a five-minute radius in order to provide a fresh, fast and consistent experience for customers.
That was a problem for Brees once he was drafted into the NFL by the San Diego Chargers in 2001. The quarterback, who had his first taste of Jimmy John's upon arriving at Purdue University in 1997 and ordered the sandwiches to his dorm "like, three times a week," suddenly lived more than five minutes away from the nearest restaurant.
Signing with the New Orleans Saints in 2006 didn't solve that problem either.
"I would go back to Purdue probably twice a year and I would eat Jimmy John's for every meal, pretty much, to get my fix," he told AOL.com.
It was one fortuitous day in 2010 when Brees was on such a visit to campus that he decided to change his own life, as well as the lives of millions in the New Orleans area.
"I was sitting there, taking a bite into a No. 9 Italian Night Club, and I was like, 'Alright, that's it. I have to bring Jimmy John's to New Orleans,'" he said. He immediately sent a text to a former classmate who was working for Jimmy John's corporate at the time and asked what he needed to do to bring his favorite sandwiches down to his new home.
As it turns out, Jimmy John's had just recently decided to expand to Louisiana, and Brees jumped at the opportunity to be a franchisee. The sandwich shop's first New Orleans location opened in 2011 – and eight years later, there are nine restaurants total in the area.
But Brees knows not every Jimmy John's fan who lives six or more minutes from a restaurant is able to get involved the same way he did. That's why Brees and Jimmy John's are teaming up to buy a fan a house. Seriously. Jimmy John’s wants to buy you a house so they can deliver you a sandwich.
The company will give up to $250,000 to one lucky person to help them purchase a home within the Jimmy John's delivery zone of their choice.
The contest is open to any U.S. resident with a permanent legal address currently outside of a Jimmy John's delivery zone.
Luckily, you won't have to compete with Brees to win the prize. The star quarterback is working on building the 10th Jimmy John's location in New Orleans, and plans to continue his work with the company long after his football career comes to an end.
"I've got a passion for it," he said. "I think we've really been able to build a successful franchise business with our Jimmy John's locations and continuing to expand, continuing to serve more markets, continuing to employ more people."
Working with the Jimmy John's has helped Brees solidify his perspective and strength as a leader with the Saints, a team he led to victory in Super Bowl XLIV. The 40-year-old is now entering his 14th season in New Orleans.