Will Novak mistakenly received an invite to Angelo Onello's bachelor party earlier this month – and decided to show up!

By Char Adams
January 24, 2019 12:58 PM
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Credit: Courtesy Will Novak

Will Novak, of Phoenix, Arizona, thought he had received a scam email on Jan. 7 when he read the subject line, “Angelo’s Bachelor Party.” He didn’t know who Angelo was, nor was he expecting to go to a bachelor party. But he decided to reply anyway.

With that, a twist of events led Novak to the strangers-turned-friends and sparked the adventure of a lifetime during Angelo Onello’s weekend-long extravaganza. Novak, 35, says he arrived at the Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, Vermont, at 3 a.m. last Friday.

“Angelo said, ‘Thanks for coming, bro!’ He gave me a big hug, we took some pictures. All the guys were super nice and welcoming and warm. We were in it to win it. It was totally crazy. It was super fun,” the father of one tells PEOPLE of the weekend.

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Will Novak dressed in ski gear for Angelo Onello’s bachelor party
| Credit: Courtesy Will Novak

“When I arrived at three in the morning they were shooting fireworks. They were playing metal music, and I don’t mean they were playing it on a speaker. They were playing it, they had guitars. It was like a metal concert. They were jumping around like a mosh pit.”

Novak made headlines weeks earlier when he enlisted the help of the public to get him from Arizona to Vermont for the bachelor party. It all began with an email that, Novak says. And he’s still unsure why he opened.

“I don’t know why, but I opened it. I looked at it and saw they had a friend with the same name as me and they were waiting to hear back from this other Will Novak,” Novak recalls to PEOPLE, noting that guests had been instructed to wear “ridiculous” ’80s-themed ski gear.

“I wrote back a really silly email about how we could stay up and play Nintendo all night, and just have a big old time. Sure I don’t know Angelo, I don’t know how to ski, but, sure! Let’s have fun!”

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Novak says he thought the guys would just laugh at his email, and he’d never see them again. Instead, they responded saying that they’d love to have him at Onello’s celebration.

“I responded with a lot of crazy energy and they met me at that same level. It was just like a game of chicken,” he says. “Our emails were back and forth. I was like, if these guys think I’m gonna chicken out, they’re wrong! I think they were thinking the same thing.”

With that, the father of one resolved to fly from Arizona to Vermont for the event. After realizing he couldn’t afford the trip on his own, though, Novak set up a GoFundMe page to cover the costs. The fundraiser produced $4,395, surpassing Novak’s original $750 goal.

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Credit: Courtesy Will Novak

In a tweet, Novak even called on the public to help get him to Vermont.

“I got accidentally invited to a bachelor party in VT because someone made a typo. I told them I’d love to go,” he wrote on Jan. 10. “They said they’d love to have me. I couldn’t afford it so I did a fundraiser and it funded in 2 hours!”

Thanks to more than 200 donors, Novak got to spent the weekend with the crew. Photos showed the men dressed in colorful outfits, and the other Will “Bill” Novak – the original intended recipient of the email – wore a short that read “I AM ‘THE REAL WILL NOVAK.’ ”

“I’m a 35-year-old dorky dad from Phoenix who mostly likes to play board games with his wife,” Novak, tells PEOPLE. “I’m an indoor kid, so these guys were definitely not what I’m sued to. But it was fine! They drank a lot. They love to go skiing, they’re super intense.”

As for Onello, the husband-to-be said his bachelor party was a success.

“I had a great time,” he told Good Morning America. “Everything fell into place. It was a totally remarkable story.”