FAIRBANKS — James Tritle is a hot dad. As a father of three, a fuel specialist in the U.S. Air Force and a husband to a photographer, Tritle’s soon-to-be claim to fame will be appearing on NBC’s “Today” show as the winner of the hottest military dad in America.
“It was my wife’s fault actually,” he said.
Angela Tritle heard about an online hot dad contest from friends. They suggested she enter her husband’s name to win a trip to the Bahamas. She began asking for her husband’s permission to enter his name, but James wasn’t having it.
“It didn’t sound like my cup of tea,” he said. But he knew she wouldn’t stop asking, so two days later, he granted his permission.
It paid off. A snapshot of the casual 32-year-old in his blue uniform got more votes than other men’s photos submitted to a military category online. Other categories like “Dads over 40,” “single dads,” “tattooed dads” and “newbie dads” also had their own winners, totaling 10 final contestants.
As the voting period went on, Angela and James would check to see how his photo ranked. Facebook friends helped spread the word, and the tallies eventually pushed his photo to the lead.
“When we clicked ‘vote’ the first time, I think I was in last place,” James said. That was in April. Voting closed Thursday, and he had 43 percent of people’s votes, competing against five other finalists in the military category.
James and Angela were at first excited at the chance to win a seven-day trip to the Bahamas, but now are more excited about James appearing on the “Today” show on Monday.
“The Bahamas trip would be cool, but the ‘Today’ show is going to be way cooler,” Angela said.
The Tritles have three children, ages 8, 6 and 4. They will stay with their grandparents — Angela’s parents — in North Pole while the couple travels to New York.
The contest can be found at ivillage.com, but the voting period has ended.
Contact staff writer Reba Lean at 459-7523.