By Alisha Hockensmith/Assistant News editor

To most people the number nine doesn’t mean much, but for Shanna Charles, a senior broadcasting major from Zoe, the number nine meant tickets to see all her favorite artists.Charles was caller No. 9 for radio station K-93’s contest to win tickets to Country Music Television’s Flameworthy 2003 Video Music Awards.

“I was goofin’ off one day and I didn’t think I’d get it,” Charles said.

When she found out she won, the first person she called was her roommate and best friend Barbara Goode, whom she decided to take with her to Nashville for the big event.

“Our seats at the awards were very far away from the stage,” Charles said, “but we could see who was performing before they announced it.”

The two traveled by bus with a group of Kentuckians. They went to the Wild Horse Saloon and had a banquet dinner.

They also went to the pre-show party that aired on CMT where they saw Montgomery Gentry, one of her favorite groups, perform.

“They were awesome,” Charles said. “We were on television, at least we think … (and) once they were done performing we made our way to where they enter their bus and were 3 feet from them. That has got to be the most memorable experience.”

Charles said her view of awards shows really changed.

“When people at home are watching commercials, the backstage crew is setting up that stage,” Charles said, “and the artist is teasing the audience next to the stage.

Charles, whose dream is to host backstage at the Grand Ole Opry, made it one step closer to that achievement.

“I was talking to the representative of K-93 while at the Wild Horse Saloon,” Charles said. “We were talking about internships since I am a broadcasting major.”

Charles had an interview yesterday for an internship position.

Her overall experience was wonderful and CMT and K-93 were great hosts, Charles said.

“We had a blast.”