Ambern wins $10,000 from Prize Patrol
Last Tuesday we received a call from Susie Davis at Susie’s Pretty Petals & Designs that the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol was at her business and getting ready to award a cash prize to a Seymour resident. Within minutes I was at Davis’s door to see just what was going on. Everyone has heard of the Prize Patrol, as well as Publishers Clearinghouse.
The company that is known for giving away money has had their share of bad press in the past (In earlier period lawsuits, there were allegations that the Publishers Clearing House (PCH) sweepstakes firm violated various consumer protection laws through its promotions for the sale of magazines and other goods.) Because of that, in part, many people believed that it was nearly impossible for anyone to actually win a cash prize. There were many skeptics, including myself. After all, I had never known anyone who won or did I know anyone who knew anyone that won. I guess it’s a little bit like the lottery. After all, how many people do you know that won the lottery? Well, last week, a Seymour woman won. Amazing but true. The lucky winner was Sandra Ambern.
It wasn’t easy to track her down to give her a check for $10,000. After I arrived and climbed into the Prize Patrol van at Susie’s Pretty Petals & Designs, the two prize patrol workers Diana Ramdass, Terry Scaldaferri and myself were off to try to track down the winner somewhere near Goose Gap. Davis had taken the two women earlier in the day to where Ambern lived to “scope it out”. It was up some pretty curvy and confusion roads and after watching them drive there it was amazing to me that they were able to find it again.
After knocking on the door of her home and awaking her husband, the prize patrol found out that Ambern was still at work at the Pigeon Forge Wal-Mart. She’d be there until 7:00 p.m. It was close to 6:00 p.m. when we left her home. Through the winding roads of Goose Gap and back roads we arrived at Wal-Mart in Pigeon Forge shortly before Ambern was to get off work.
The trick, according to Scaldaferri was to reach Ambern before she was tipped off that they were coming. “We want to surprise the people but sometimes that is hard to do,” stated Scaldaferri. After asking at the customer service counter which cash register Ambern was working at, we thought we were close to tracking her down. Three other employees later, an assistant manager finally brought an unassuming Ambern within reach of the Publishers Clearinghouse Prize Patrol and her check for $10,000.
Ambern had been filling out the Publishers Clearinghouse entry forms for years and this time it paid off. “I knew if I kept entering that someday I would win. I figured I had as good a chance as anyone,” stated Ambern. Her first words after hearing she had won the $10,000 prize was, “Oh, my gosh! My husband has had strokes and this money will help with medical bills.”
As the $10,000 winner, Ambern is eligible for the $1 Million prize to be given away on Thanksgiving Day as well as the $10 Million Super Prize to be given away on Valentine’s Day of 2003.
Ambern may also become a celebrity in a national TV commercial. Publishers Clearinghouse frequently tapes the winners to get their reactions. In one case that many people remember, a teenage girl answered the door of her home wrapped in a towel when they came to award her mother a $1 million dollar prize.
Publishers Clearing House, the world’s largest multi-magazine subscription agency, was founded in Port Washington, NY in 1953. Its name has become synonymous with the sweepstakes that it has used since 1967 to draw attention to its “unbeatable magazine values.” Nearly half of Publisher’s Clearing House’s profits are donated to charitable causes ranging from the arts to the social services to the environment.
To date, they have awarded over $185,000,000 in major prizes alone.
The Prize Patrol left Seymour that same day to head off to Nashville and then Memphis to award more lucky winners their winnings. They were two of seventy teams around the country that spent the week giving away a $1 million dollars during their “Prize Patrol Blitz.”
Ambern did buy products from the advertisements that came along with the sweepstakes, but according to Ramdass, you need not buy anything to win. There are two ways to enter the sweepstakes. Either by mail or by logging on to their website at www.publishersclearinghouse.com.
So, am I still a skeptic? The answer is no. Ambern, a local Wal-Mart employee and Seymour resident wasn’t a skeptic and it paid off for her. The look on her face when the Prize Patrol handed her that bouquet of red roses and that giant check for $10,000 was priceless. It made a believer out of me. As soon as I’m finished with this story I’m off to their website to enter the sweepstakes. After all, remember what Ambern said, “I figured I had as good a chance as anyone.” In her case, she was right.