Black Friday deals: 'We just wanted to be first' says First Family of Black Friday

8:49 PM, Nov 19, 2010   |    comments
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Tina Thaim and Lorie Davenport are rewarded with iPads for being the first people in the nation to wait in line for Black Friday.
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St. Petersburg, Florida --  Tina Thain and her longtime friend Lorie Davenport simply just wanted to be first.

They never imagined they'd become the first shoppers nationwide to line up outside of a Best Buy store for Black Friday.

"We're here early this year because we've always been second, third, fourth and down the line," Davenport told 10 News.

"We're tired of not being first and we figured, we've put in six years, we want to be first," she said.

Ten days before the infamously busy shopping day, the women and their husbands pitched a tent in front of the 22nd Avenue Best Buy store and they waited.

Photos: Family is first in the nation to camp out ahead of Black Friday

They knew they were early, they just didn't realize how early they were.

"We just wanted to be sure the early bird got the worm," they said.

Best Buy checked around its more than 1,300 stores and found out the ladies weren't just the first Black Friday shoppers to line up at the St. Pete store, but the first in the country.

Friday morning, Best Buy dubbed the families as the "First Families of Black Friday" and gave each of the women an iPad.

"I'm honored it's Best Buy they want to be at.  There's a lot of competition out there and we know it," said Best Buy general manager, Scott Dowen.

"Oh my gosh, my boss is just going to die," laughed Thain as she clutched onto her new iPad.

The two women alone aren't waiting around the clock.  They're getting help from their families, working in shifts to hold their coveted spot.

It's quiet now, but soon enough, it'll get busy.

"Come join us," the ladies smiled, "We need company."

It all started with their then teenaged daughters and an MP3 player. The girls saw people lining up and begged their moms to let them take part.

"We were like, 'We'll go up with you and take a look around,'" they recalled.

What started as a quest for a deal on an MP3 player turned into an annual tradition for the families.

For those people who think they're crazy or wasting their time, they say, "It's more about the sport of it now and it's fun."

One may think they're spending too much time away from family, but the women tell us they're likely spending more time together now and will be for the remainder of the week than they would if they stayed at home.

"It's almost like getting together for your Thanksgiving dinner.  This is our Thanksgiving celebration," they said.

While Best Buy hasn't officially released its Black Friday ad, the women are anticipating some good deals.

In years past, they've snagged a $2,500 HDTV for $1,500.  This year, they're hoping to find a surround sound system to go along with the TV and maybe a new Blu Ray player or movies.

For now though, it's about the wait and spending time with old friends and new ones.

"We'll have snacks and things for everybody to come up, whether they're in our party or not," they smiled. 

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Laura Kadechka, 10 News

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