Airman could win $1 million with new potato chip flavor

MSgt. James Wagner poses next to Greektown Gyro, his submission for a new flavor of Lay's potato chip.

MSgt. James Wagner poses next to Greektown Gyro, his submission for a new flavor of Lay’s potato chip.

An Air Force master sergeant is hoping the food he ate while on base could now help him win a million dollars.

Master Sgt. James Wagner, a fighter crew chief with 18 years of service under his belt, was in Germany when he first tasted a Greek delicacy.

“They had this gyro stand that was located next to the commissary, like what’d you see at a fair,” he told Air Force Times. “I used to live off the gyros there. They were good, I never had them before. I fell in love with the flavor.”

So when Lay’s potato chip company called for submissions for a new flavor of chip, Wagner knew what he wanted to submit.

“It took me all of five minutes to do,” he said. “It’s kind of a fun thing, ‘Hey, what kind of flavors could we come up with?’”

Now Wagner’s flavor, “Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro,” is a finalist in Lay’s “Do Us A Flavor” contest.

If selected as the winner, the Greektown Gyro chips will become a permanent Lay’s product – and Wagner will win the million-dollar prize from the company.

“I’ll be retiring in a little more than a year, so it’d make a difference,” Wagner said, adding that he and his wife are hoping to travel.

Plus: “I’ve got three kids that are going to college,” he said.

When he moved back to the states, Wagner said he looked for a place with gyros as good as those he got in Germany. Now, stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas, he thinks he’s found one.

“It’s pretty close,” Wagner said.

Greektown Gyro, along with the three other finalists, are available in stores before the voting closes Oct. 18.

Anyone wishing to vote in the contest can visit Lay’s website,; text ‘VoteGyro’ to 24477; or use the hashtag #VoteGyro on Twitter or Instagram.

Wagner has also set up a Twitter account, @greektown_gyro, to raise support for his flavor.


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