Dwight Howard was surprised at his home in an Orlando suburb on Wednesday by the folks at Skittles.
The candy brand, owned by Wrigley, made a custom pinball machine featuring images of the Orlando Magic center accompanied by pictures of the candy. A slot in the front of the machine has room for about 30 packs of Skittles.
In what might be one of the most savvy moves in marketing today, Wrigley executives find its biggest, most high profile Skittles lovers and make custom dispensing machines for them. They previously made a machinethat dispenses its candy to Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose.
Howard is a die-hard fan of Skittles and when he first saw the machine he was willing to do anything, including dancing around in a Skittles branded Superman cape they had provided him with.
When I asked what his favorite flavor was, it was hard to get him to stop talking.
"From the original fruit, I'd say it's strawberry," Howard said. "But I also like tropical fruit. Then, if we're talking about color blenders, I like the yellow ones."
Howard was loving his new Skittles pinball machine, which will be the start to a game room in his new house.
"In my old house, I had the Lord Of The Rings pinball machine, when it first came out," Howard said. "I'm going to get a bunch of those car arcade games that you sit in."
Howard isn't humble about his video game prowess.
"I scored so many points on Galactica that the numbers froze," Howard said. "I figured out how to get the aliens from shooting at me."
Howard said he has been eating the rainbow-colored candy for his entire life and says his dentist has endorsed his eating of the candy as long as he follows one rule.
"He told me I could eat them as long as I flush my mouth out with water to get the sugar out," Howard said.
Before he goes out on the court for each game, Howard says he pops a couple Skittles in his mouth, along with some popcorn ("Like I'm going to see a show," he says) and washes it down with some Gatorade.
Howard joked if he needed to go somewhere overseas to play during the NBA lockout, he'd go to China.
"Skittles are so good in China," Howard said. "I don't know why. They taste so much better. It's like having a Coke in Atlanta."
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