Reporting Gordy Leach
ST. LOUIS PARK,Minn. (WCCO) — Erik Ellingson is an 80-year-old accountant who still works, and still goes league bowling every Thursday night.
He likes numbers, and will remember 300 for quite a while. That’s score of the perfect game he bowled Thursday night at the Texa-Tonka lanes in St. Louis Park.
And a perfect game is rare at any age.
“It’s 12 strikes in a row. Have to be all 12 strikes,” said Ellingson.
“It is very rare for people who do it casually like Erik does. It’s something that comes about maybe once, twice, opportunity in a lifetime, and to be able to actually do it when you get to that 12th frame, that is special and he performed brilliantly in the 10th frame,” said Sam Lantto, his league teammate. “All three were straight strikes to the pocket, solid.”
Ellingson said the perfect game was a surprise for him. It was his first one, and it came for him at 80 years old.
“Oh wow, it’s a wow for me at my age. The young people now, with the new equipment and stuff are getting more and more of them, but it’s still quite rare, very rare,” said Ellingson.
Anthony Rines, Ellingson’s friend, was there Thursday night to witness the perfect game with his son.
“It was just nice to see Erik shoot a 300 that he’s never done before,” said Rines.
Ellingson said he started bowling when he was 12 years old. He was a pin setter at the bowling alley in his hometown of Harmony.
“I’ve been bowling ever since, except for a couple of years I had to take off for injuries and stuff like that,” Ellingson said.
All 24 lanes at Texa Tonka lanes were busy Thursday night with league action. When other bowlers learned Ellingson was on the verge of the perfect game, they came down to his line to watch the perfect finish.