REMEMBERING MILLION DOLLAR SUPERPRIZE WINNER ARTIS ELDRIDGE

Artis Eldridge Million Dollar SuperPrize Winner
-Million Dollar SuperPrize Winner, Artis Eldridge, celebrating in Disneyland

We heard recently of the passing of Artis Eldridge who won a Million Dollar SuperPrize back in 1989. Artis was one of the PCH Prize Patrol’s most memorable winners – based not only on what happened at her winning moment but on what we know of her life afterwards.

Artis lived on California’s Mojave Desert – and if that wild setting conjures up the image of a person with pioneer spirit you’ll have an accurate picture of this remarkable woman who, while tiny in stature, was mighty in strength. When she became a Publishers Clearing House winner at age 62 she had already met the challenges of a rough upbringing, polio, a nursing career, widowhood (twice) and six children. In her modest home resided two elderly women who probably would have been homeless had it not been for Artis’ determination to care for them in accordance with her devout faith. She called them “my ladies.”

On a hot dusty day in August 1989 Artis had just seen her Prize Number appear in a PCH TV commercial as the winning number in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes online. Within seconds the Prize Patrol knocked on her door to confirm that she was indeed a Million Dollar SuperPrize winner.

Watch Million Dollar SuperPrize Winner A Eldridge’s Winning Moment

No wonder the video of Artis Eldridge’s Winning Moment shows Artis crying not only in disbelief but RELIEF: she had just declared bankruptcy to save her house. A party quickly got underway in the crowded living room – with champagne and congratulatory phone calls. “This is a day I will never forget,” she told a national TV commercial audience. As we were leaving, I invited Artis to come to our New York headquarters for a deluxe celebration weekend. She allowed that such a trip would be very nice but impossible. “I can’t leave ‘my ladies,’” she said.

A few weeks later business took me to Los Angeles; so I called Artis to see if we could have a West Coast celebration at a fancy restaurant in Hollywood or Beverly Hills. “Oh no,” she replied, implying that was not her style. “If you wanna treat me, you can take me and ‘my ladies’ to Disneyland. That would really be ‘sumpin’.”

So that’s what happened. Artis piled “the ladies” and their wheelchairs into a rattle-trap van (which she had not yet replaced), drove to Anaheim and met me in the Disneyland parking lot. “You push one wheelchair and I’ll push the other,” she commanded. From there we went to the Magic Castle (see photo above), the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and a flower market restaurant for lunch. To cap it off we took “the ladies” (both of whom were stout and none too agile) on the Nemo submarine ride. I tell you, it was not easy negotiating our party down the narrow ladder into the sub’s tight quarters. But what a memorable day it was!

Artis and I kept in touch until one day she called to say that she was now alone, had been diagnosed with a very serious illness and was moving out of her Mojave home. That was the last I heard of her – until this month when her daughter Diana phoned our headquarters to advise us that Artis had died in January 2011.

It turned out that the medical diagnosis — that was given back in the early ‘90’s — was wrong. In the intervening years Artis had lived a very full life dedicated to helping others – naturally. Her favorite cause was a small school and church in Mexicali, Mexico which she visited many times, “rolling up her sleeves” to support the needy youngsters with food and gifts. “She was an amazing woman” recalled Diana. “I miss her very much,” she added – as do her other children, 14 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren!

I hope this story encourages you to enter the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes online or through the mail. If winning a Million Dollar SuperPrize happened for Artis, it can happen for you. And as you can see, the experience of winning doesn’t end with the winning moment; it can last a lifetime.

Dave Sayer

PCH Prize Patrol Ambassador


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Showing 19 Comments
Colette Steiro said...

Artis story was very touching for me. And, for her goodness and kindness, God rewarded her with the funds that PCH sent her. Now, she is in heaven without having to suffer anymore. I believe that in the end she is with our Creator.

Colette Steiro

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Vickie Plasterer said...

Dear Mr Sayer,

What a remarkable tale of such a remarkable sounding woman. May she rest in the glory of God’s Kingdom.

Your position with PCH seems to have introduced you to such a wonderful variety of persons.
It would be very nice to meet you in your surroundings at PCH and to learn more of your ventures and adventures.

I would love to have such a position with PCH. Are there any openings?

Take care one and all and I will ‘talk’ to you later

Vickie P
Markle, IN

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Quy Truong said...

I feel like this would happen to me also, when I finally get a stroke of luck and a chance of a lifetime, a tsunamie of unimaginable horror follows directly after.

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Maureen Sousa said...

Thank YOu Dave,
For this touching story… & my sympathy to Diane & her family…

But I know that she has left a legacy of GOOD DEEDS in this world & her family can always look back on them with pride & joy & KNOW that she has now WON her GREATEST GIFT in Heaven.. & OUR LORD is MOST PLEASED to have her HOME!!

What a remarkable woman!!! & SO derserving of that win back in 1989. !!!

Maureen

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gail block said...

oh RIP to her now she is a PCH angel with wings looking down smiling for all the future winners

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britt lonnie shane said...

That is a very moving story, just go’s to show what big hearts persons in our great nation have, Thank you PCH. Lonnie Britt

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MICHAEL.R said...

Some Things In Life are truly Priceless!

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Lisa N. said...

Hi everyone,

awwe:’) Dave, how are ya?
tks for this blog post(well all of em’)haha

I of course really like reading about how PCH brings relief!

I love this picture & I’m happy 4 her so glad that Artis got to go to Disneyland w her “ladies!”
look @ that smile;)

before today I hadn’t heard about Artis E. & her wining moment(s)! Congratulations & may you rest in peace, forever Artis!!!!!!!!!!

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Cindy Bonneau said...

I have seen this on YOUTUBE of Artis Eldridge, along with so many other winners from PCH~it was moving when I first saw it and it is today too..I love her comments: “There is so much I can do with this!” “How can I not cry?”..1989 she was having such a hard time as we all are these days and she keep going~what a beautiful woman!
But what is nice is that she always thinking of others
~And because of PCH she was able to live her dream~as she said : “You (PCH) gave her a day she will never forget!” and that is all that truly needs to be said. WELL DONE PCH, as always! *smile*

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Nancy Sexton said...

Another AWESOME winning moment in your treasure trove of a lifetime of winning moments!!

I’d like to hope to one day “give” big if I were ever added to that treasure chest!!

God bless all winning moments!!
And all of PCH too!!
Thanks for sharing with us!!

NKS

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Danielle Lam PCH Prize Patrol Elite said...

Dave, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful memories of Artis. I would like to send my sincerest sympathy to the Eldridge family.

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Donyea N.Wilson said...

I really had hoped I would have won by now but I guess it just was not in the cards for me

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Nictika Warren said...

I am truly thankful, grateful and full of appreciation to hear of this wonderful woman that was truly moved by the spirit of GOD within her, for she is indeed back home in a restful place! For she even today touch others by not just her actions, deeds, but with the great love that is within her. I thank GOD for bringing this wonderful being within our midst. May GOD continue to bless her family thru the very fruits sown. GOD bless you PCH

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Dana Coleman said...

Dave,
Looks like Artis Eldridge is still giving (through you) which would make her very happy. :-). How nice it was to wake up and read the story and remember. Sorry that she is gone now, and sincerely sorry for her friends and family, but the story helps her to be with us alittle longer. It put a smile on my face that I shall carry with me the rest of the day (and it is going to be a grilling one). Thanks PCH for spreading the love.

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Debby Morales said...

Dear Dave,
My condolences to Diane and her family. Artis was a remarkable woman who sole passion was to help people. That’s what I always say if I would win I would help people assisting them by helping them pay their rent, food etc…. Whoever our next winner is please do like Artis be kind and help!!!! Thanks,

Debby

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ramy kupukaa said...

Hello
I just finished reading these wonderfull winning stories, Artis you are so cute and Ilove how you ya all went to Disneyland . Lucky enough for a person to win a milliobn one time from PCH but you won ywo times great job Artis The Lord knew what good things you do and you were blessed tghank you for sharing Dave …. Maybe I will be so lucky to have you show up at my apt .

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kasey white said...

omg this story made me cry i hope pch can help more people in need i would def want someone like that to win next time it mkes me feel so good when i see or hear storys like that good luck to everyone and i hope everyone has a blessed year

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Kathy A said...

Hello Dave!!!,this is such a very touching story im just glad that she was able to enjoy herself and friends to Disneyland ,Im sure she went to haven!!!.this story brought tears to me and let me know that my problem are very small that there is alot of people hurting besides myselve and i need to start enjoy my love ones around me and take one day at a time and be more kind to strangers because you never know what their going thru on a daily basis even a smile will help alot!!! Sincerly KathleenA.

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