Waiting for the ‘Prize Patrol’

Jul. 20, 2013 @ 05:09 AM

I got it! They found me in North Carolina.

On Monday, I received a business-sized envelope from Publisher’s Clearing House “official” comptroller. On Wednesday, I received notification that I was among those on a list to win $5,000 a week for life.

I rushed back to the office to tell everyone, don’t worry about entering the Publisher’s Clearing House giveaway, because I’m going to win it “BIG.” After all, the latest envelope said “WINNING NUMBER FOUND REPORT.” 

Little do my coworkers know, I’ve been telling the same story for three decades.

I’ll admit, I’ve always been a bit drawn to those television ads showing the “Prize Patrol” surprising someone with riches for a life.

So what the heck, I respond to their mailings. You just never know ... they could show up at my front door.

I’m circling the date on my calendar, Thursday, August 29. That’s when the PRIZE PATROL will “definitely deliver” the first $5,000 prize check in person. The checks, they say will continue roll in, with no cap, for the rest of the winner’s life --- plus after that, the $5,000 weekly checks will continue for the life of someone the winner chooses. Hmmmm....who will I choose? What relative has been the nicest to me? Who remembers to send me Christmas cards? Oh...how will I decide?

Entering the contest is time-consuming and complicated. Stamps needed to be affixed to the “official” entry form were placed in hard-to-find places within the pages and pages of product for sale. 

I dutifully completed the entry form when it arrived mid-week. Plus I stashed away the entry form lest I win and the “Prize Patrol” would ask for a receipt and I couldn’t produce it. How cow....that’s too horrible to contemplate!

For years my good friends have kidded me about all I was spending on postage plus hinted that I was helping Publisher’s Clearing House keep the U.S. Postal Service in business. Heck, I’m probably helping timber producers as well with all the paper involved.

If anyone bothered to read the “Sweepstakes Facts” that Publisher’s Clearing House provides with endless mailings, you would discover that the odds of winning “$5,000 A-WEEK-FOREVER” is 1 in 2,215,500,000. That gets me to thinking I probably have a better chance of getting hit by lightning.

I’ll admit watching their television commercials over the years where their “Prize Patrol” arrives with a huge check, flowers and balloons and the lucky winner gasps in delight is pure joy. And every year, after I don’t see the “Prize Patrol” stop in front of my house, I vow I won’t participate another time. Unfortunately, I don’t remember my pledge after the first envelope arrives.

The key to their pitch is urgency with which one must respond in either the emails or the envelopes. Each individual giveaway has a time limit so you’re compelled to respond to each one.

Some people will say it’s a scam. Publisher’s Clearing House is a legitimate enterprise. They provide their rules, and as noted, the odds against winning anything. 

Somebody does win a Publisher’s Clearing House payout or prize. Mostly, however, it’s neither you nor me.

When I was living in Minnesota a few years back, someone from St. Cloud, Minn., did win. I remember their photo being plastered across the state’s major newspapers the next day. It sort of renewed my faith that maybe, just maybe, I could be a winner too.

My reasoning for entering the Publisher’s Clearing House is the same as buying a lottery ticket when the pot gets big. It would be part of my retirement.

The fact of the matter is: I live in hope the “Prize Patrol” will find me.


Wanda Moeller is the Publisher of The Daily Courier. She can be reached at wmoeller@thedigitalcouriercom.