Local News

May 13, 2008

It's Publishers Clearing House knocking, and no one's home

VARNELL — The roses were ready. The balloons were ready. The oversized, $1,000 check was ready.

The recipient of the gifts and money — Jessie Lewis of Frontier Trail — wasn’t ready.

The Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol was in town on Tuesday to surprise Lewis with the money. But no one was home. Don’t worry, Lewis will still get the money.

“It does happen quite often,” Prize Patrol “deputy” Mirian Majano said.

The Prize Patrol is on a nationwide trek this week awarding “economic relief packages” of $1,000 to $10,000 — maybe even $1 million — to 101 people. The company mobilized 63 Publishers Clearing House employees to deliver prizes from coast to coast. This week’s winners are also eligible to win larger Publishers Clearing House giveaways including a “$5,000 A Week For Life Superprize.”

The Prize Patrol members did their best to track down Lewis. They knocked on neighboring doors. They tried the Prize Patrol help line. They even tried the Varnell Police Department. Fortunately for Lewis, the cops didn’t recognize the name.

By 5:15 p.m., the Prize Patrol had yet to find Lewis, but they did enjoy a tour of Whitfield County.

The Prize Patrol members flew in from New York to Atlanta Tuesday morning and rendezvoused at Bobbie’s Florist & Gifts on Walnut Avenue where they picked up a bouquet of roses and balloons. Workers at the florist peppered Majano and fellow deputy Roxanne Miller with questions about the identity of the winner and the amount of the check. They held their ground.

Publishers Clearing House is a direct marketer of magazine subscriptions and merchandise. The company was founded in Port Washington, N.Y., in 1953 as a magazine circulation agency, selling discounted subscriptions by direct mail. The sweepstakes kicked off in 1967. The business has broadened since 1985 to include a variety of merchandise that now accounts for more than half of the company’s sales. Entries can be made by mail or on the Publishers Clearing House Web site, www.pch.com.

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