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You May Already Be a Winner!

One Family's Ride on the Publishers Clearing House Roller Coaster

September 28, 1997|Howard Rosenberg

Carol's "Final Round Certificate," meanwhile, contains important instructions that we're trying to sort out: "Affix seal from envelope here . . . affix SuperPrize Number Label from Dorothy Addeo here . . . affix seal from Cliff Resnick's letter here . . . place video offer coupon here . . . place John Wayne special coupon here . . . place video selection here." But below that it says: "Use this form only if ordering. Otherwise, use enclosed non-order entry card."

At this point, we are utterly confused, driven on only by our expectation of winning, which seems almost a certainty.

Nov. 15: Carol's "Final Prize Documents" are here, including a note from our friend Dorothy saying Carol had been selected to receive "the final round of mailings. Believe me," she confides, "not everyone on our list was chosen."

There is also a personalized note from our friend Dave, who mentions that Carol's new SuperPrize Number "could be the winner." But Dave also has a "special request." Again, not that she must make a purchase to win, but would Carol please order something, anything. Poor Dave is actually pleading. "It doesn't have to be a big or expensive item. Any order will do." Why, he will even bring it with him when the Prize Patrol rings our bell.

At four payments each of only $2.74, the multipurpose laser shears do look interesting.

Nov. 21: Our spirits are soaring. A mock tabloid newspaper has arrived, its headline shouting: "CAROL ROSENBERG WINS $1 MILLION," its subhead announcing: "America Watches as the Rosenbergs Learn of Their New Fortune."

The lead story begins: "Carol Rosenberg became the newest Publishers Clearing House One Million Dollar winner . . . . Like many Americans, the Rosenbergs were getting ready to watch the Publishers Clearing House winner announcement . . . when the doorbell rang in their (our community) home."

To Carol's surprise, the story continues, Dave and the Prize Patrol were at the door with a camera crew, flowers, champagne and a large check. " 'Congratulations! You've just won One Million Dollars,' Mr. Sayer announced to the stunned Carol Rosenberg. 'You've got to be kidding,' responded Carol Rosenberg."

Beneath the story are two photos, one showing the Prize Patrol at a house (not ours), the other with a grinning Dave flanked by two other people holding a big $1 million certificate with Carol's name on it.

Finally, there is a story about our expenses-paid trip to New York, including a night on the town and "choice seats at a Broadway hit." On a separate form, Carol indicates the show she wants to see, "The Phantom of the Opera."

Dec. 10: A white envelope marked "Personal & Confidential" has arrived from Publishers Clearing House. Inside is another sheet of order coupons, another plea from Dave to buy and a merchandise order envelope stamped: "Attn: Mail Room. Upon receipt, please hand deliver to D. Sayer." Dave seems desperate.

Dec. 18: Wow! Carol's "Certificate of Attainment" has come, bearing the names of Dorothy, Dave and Daniel P. Doyle, PCH treasurer. And guess what? She's back to $10 million.

Dec. 26: At last, it's my turn. Finally PCH includes me, sending my "Final Prize Documents" with a note from Dave labeling me a "potential winner" and adding, "We need to know where to find you on Super Bowl Sunday." Included is a telephone number where I can reach him should I plan on not being home to receive my $10 million.

Meanwhile, I must inform Publishers Clearing House if I wish payment by certified checks or electronic transfers to my bank. Plus, I, too, must give Fox permission to televise my winning moment.

Jan. 14: No news for me, but Carol's payoff is getting closer. In the mail are "minutes" from a "SuperPrize Certification Meeting" held in the PCH conference room:

"Cliff Resnick introduced Marketing Department records that showed Carol Rosenberg indeed had a recent entry on file." And he gave Carol "his approval as a $10 million potential winner on the spot," the "minutes" continue.

"Dorothy Addeo then spoke on behalf of the Contest Department. Based on Cliff's approval of Carol Rosenberg as a 'prime candidate,' she reserved an additional SuperPrize Number for Carol Rosenberg's exclusive use. This unique number will be activated upon receipt of Carol Rosenberg's timely entry.

"Dan Doyle was present from the Finance Department. He said the escrow account for the $10 million SuperPrize has been established and the banking arrangement approved by the chairman of the Country Bank in Carmel, N.Y. If declared the winner, the first prize check will be drawn in Carol Rosenberg's name. . . . "

Finally, Dave reported at the meeting that he lacked "all the information necessary to locate Carol Rosenberg and plan the Winner's Weekend." He promised to prepare "a special questionnaire with all relevant information to be forwarded to Carol Rosenberg."

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