January 7, 1993 |
Isn't it great to finally get some recognition in life? You struggle and strain to reach some hazy pinnacle and then one day, the payoff. A special letter comes in the mail, warm congratulations on a job well done: "Believe me when I tell you lots of other folks didn't make the cut. You're one of the smart ones, though. . . . Not only did you mail your entry in on time, you had all the contest stamps in their proper places too."
August 1, 1993 |
I've been going through my letters, stacked on shelves, piled on my desk and tucked into drawers. These are the letters that I've meant to answer but never did. They contain something that makes me put them aside, something that would be violated if I were to toss them in the trash. So the stacks grow, until I stop looking at them as missives from individuals and start thinking of them as piles of paper gathering dust. I understand this process.
July 18, 1990 |
The familiar pitch goes something like: Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. Today may be the day you'll remember for the rest of your life. . . . The day you received your lucky $1-million winning number. American consumers receive direct-mail sweepstakes promotions almost daily. The largest prize offerings come from industry giants such as Reader's Digest, Publishers Clearing House and American Family Publishers Sweepstakes.
September 28, 1997 |
It's the season again. Now that the pro football wars have resume, so have the sweepstakes wars. And a year ago, my wife, Carol, and I were on the front lines. Most of us work hard much of our lives just trying to earn a living. So it's human nature to look longingly at those who get something for nothing and wish the same for yourself. It needn't be much. A mere few million would smooth some wrinkles. Which explains what Carol and I were doing in front of a TV set last Jan. 26.
November 23, 1997
I enjoyed Howard Rosenberg's humorous account of the Publishers Clearing House foolishness ("You May Already Be a Winner!" Sept. 28). However, Rosenberg didn't touch on the fact that these sweepstakes groups make a lot of money preying on the elderly. Last month, when my 93-year-old mother, who had been living alone, had a stroke, I stayed with her while she was recovering. In three days of picking up her mail I found 18 sweepstakes offers telling her that she had "won" millions of dollars.
August 24, 2000 |
Magazine publisher Time Inc. is expected to announce a settlement today with regulators in California and about 40 other states over allegations that it used deceptive marketing practices in its sweepstakes programs. The settlement follows a similar announcement Tuesday by Publishers Clearing House, which agreed to refund $16 million to consumers and abide by tougher disclosure rules.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 31, 1993 |
Patrice Lavann Haslip had yearned for a visit from the "prize patrol." Instead, she was hauled off in handcuffs in a sheriff's black-and-white. And rather than becoming the latest $10-million grand prize winner, she could receive more than 10 years in state prison. Patrice Haslip, 34, was arraigned Thursday on charges of shooting her husband in the head during an argument that erupted after he made a mistake on their entry to become multimillionaires in an upcoming publisher's contest.
November 26, 1997 |
Federal authorities arrested an Orange County man and accused him of bilking elderly people out of $70,000 with claims that he represented nationally known publishers' sweepstakes. Gary Maddux, 36, of Santa Ana Heights was charged with one count of wire fraud at a federal court hearing in Los Angeles. He was held without bail pending his arraignment Dec. 15.