Forever Changed by PCH – Mariam Dvorak’s Winner Story

Hi everyone!  This is Matt K. from PCH Creative.  We’ve all seen the winning moments of our fantastic SuperPrize winners on TV or maybe even on YouTube.  But what happens when the Prize Patrol leaves and the winner is left Forever Changed by PCH with this incredible windfall of serious money?  Over the next several weeks, I’ll be interviewing some of our past winners from years ago and asking them just what DID happen after the Prize Patrol van rolled away!  We’ll find out how they reacted, how their lives were transformed, and what they can do now that they couldn’t have done before.  Let’s start with this week’s surprising and touching profile with Mariam Dvorak from 2004!

Having your life’s dreams and goals come true is something that we all hope for and strive to make happen.  Some of us think it all comes down to what we do – and there’s no denying that the decisions we make do have an effect on our lives!  Others of us think it’s all about luck. In reality, it probably is a bit of both!

For Mariam Dvorak, her combination of action & luck started back in 1978.

“I don’t know where I heard about Publishers Clearing House from, but I just started entering.  I also enjoyed getting the magazines, and then the products.  I still have them all over this house to this day!”

Mariam Dvorak

The daughter of a letter carrier and a faithful entrant through the years, Mariam kept on believing.  “Oh, I was made fun of some, but nothing stopped me!”  Then one day in 2004, luck finally caught up with her.  The Virginian mom and grandmother had a doctor’s appointment and decided to treat herself to a trip to the hair salon afterwards. As fate would have it, Dave Sayer and the Prize Patrol were on their way to her doorstep that very day!  But since Mariam wasn’t home, they had no idea where to look!

Dave and the gang went back to their first stop, the local florist, to try and formulate a plan.  After several unsuccessful attempts to try and figure out Mariam’s whereabouts, the florist finally said, “Look, why don’t you just tell me who it is you’re looking for?  I may know them!”  Well, Dave Sayer and the Prize Patrol could hardly believe it when the florist let out a shout when he heard the name.  “Mariam Dvorak is my SISTER!,” he exclaimed.

With her brother in tow, they made their way back to Mariam’s house.  She had returned from the hair salon (which, as fate would have it, was just two doors down from the florist the entire time!) and was surprised to have a knock on the door almost immediately thereafter – with a life-changing SuperPrize of $1 Million Dollars!!

 winner story

I was very excited!  I just couldn’t believe it was all happening,” she said.  “And everyone in town knew it even before I did!,” she laughs.

Mariam has always looked out for others, and knew right away that she wasn’t going to let one cent of that money go to waste.  In fact, she went so far as to not change the way she lived at all.  She still lives in the same house and still drives the same car, circa 1993!  Mariam immediately invested the money so that she was able to pay for the entirety of her grandchildren’s college tuition.

“Helping them in ways I couldn’t have before, that was what I wanted to do,” she explains.  “Even when an unexpected fourth grandchild came along recently, I was able to set up a trust for their education as well.”

Yes, it was good fortune that gave Mariam her big $1 Million SuperPrize, but it was her actions afterward that were able to make the biggest difference in the lives of her loved ones.  And as she looks fondly on her Big Check (which she still has!), she offers this advice to future entrants:  Be faithful! Keep (at it)! Maybe your day is coming too!”

Hearing a story like Mariam’s is so moving!  Even though it took a while for the Big Check to reach Mariam’s door, obviously fate wanted a good person like her to have it! Tell us what you thought of today’s Forever Changed by PCH story, and be sure to come back next week when we’ll be sharing another incredible winner story!

Matt K.
PCH Creative

P.S. Who would you like to help if you won an incredible SuperPrize?  Tell us in the comments below!


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Showing 68 Comments
Leticia Bibo said...

Leticia Bibo Said…Yes
I STILL WAITING MY TURN COMING LIKE OTHERS WINNERS OF THE PUBLISHERS CLEARING HOUSE SURPRISE THEM AT FRONT DOOR, AND I BELIEVE THE PRIZE FOR NOVEMBER 26th IT WILL BE MY TO WIN A $7,000.00 A WEEK FOR LIFE SUPERPRIZE WINNER LIST FROM #3080. THANK YOU GOD BLESSED ALL YOU AT PCH.

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Stancio Butler said...

If I get a chance to win both $10,000.00 & a MEGA PRIZE of $37,000,000.00 PLUS $250,000.00 every year for life & never work again tomorrow, I would take a road trip across the U.S.A. by a motor home.

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Natasha Davis said...

I know it can be a wonderful experience…. That’s why I enter daily… I would help out my grandfather by paying his mortgage off(he deserves it). then I am off to the dentist to get teeth whitening/canal lol.. oh what a dream

Good luck all=)

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Jay McIntyre said...

Living carefully is a sound strategy. Is what I will do if I win. It’s not about what you can buy, it’s about financial security.

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K frye said...

A touching story, and a wise investment! I hope I’ll be able to share a story and join the wall of winners! Good luck to all

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sarah l. kelsey said...

I..would give money to the church and feed the children and.paws animal.rescue..then pay my many bills .and fly up to Ohio and see.my family I miss for.so long. and stop living day by with.what we have. it’s been.a struggle. but we are blessed because we have each other . prays God :)

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Stancio Butler said...

What a touching story, and a wise investment too! I hope I’ll be able to share a story and join the wall of winners too right after I’m going to catch up & have a chance to win both $10,000.00 & a MEGA PRIZE of $37,000,000.00 PLUS $250,000.00 every year for life & never work again tomorrow! Good luck to just for myself only.

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Aicha said...

Waw it very emotionle. Story I hope to have the same Luke plz plz Pch Come surprise me in tupelo ms I never win but I don t know why I believe to pch and I keep trying. All the time

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Aicha said...

Waw very emotionle story. I hop have the same Luke I never win but I don t know why I believe to pch I keep trying plz plz come surprise me in tupelo I need to win

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Anthony Craig said...

I would get my kids out of camden nj then i would opening up account for their education give them a better life by can wait for the drugs violence the gun shooting so he can feel safe again,lord help me..

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Anthony Craig said...

I would like to get my two little outer here son 9 daughter 10 they need to feel safe instead of being locked in the house like prisoners,.

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Anthony Craig said...

I would get my kids out of camden nj then i would opening up account for their education give them a better life by getting away form the drugs violence the gun shooting so hey can feel safe again,lord help me answer payer my babys dont deserve this..

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David Faas said...

I’d say I’ve been at it for at least 20 years and not a Cent and people thing that my luck will never Change!But I have faith that I will definitely Win Someday!!!

And the person I would help out is my brother who is going through Cancer treatment.I am being truthful about that!!!

God bless PCH,Mr.David Faas Duluth, Minnesota USA

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Kanika Loeung said...

I wish my dream would come true on Nov 26th.

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Angelica Snow said...

I would help all them children that have cancer and i would also help my mom pay off her house and help her pay off all her bills that she owen had i would also buy me a new home and a new car.

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Justin Thornton said...

Good morning everyone,
Is anyone else having problems entering today? I keep getting an error message….

thanks,
Justin

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W Saintil said...

First off congrats to Miriam…

I think thats a very warm and humbling story. Family normally always comes first and it was wise of her to invest in their future.

If I ever win I would definately follow in those footsteps. I think its a matter of being caring, unselfish and giving from the heart that counts.

God bless her sweet loving soul.

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Dee Dee said...

Matt, this is a wonderful story/project to do. I always wanted to know what happened to the PCH winners after their win, what they did with their winning monies and how their lives changed. This is a beautiful story. You can interview me anytime once I win so I can let everyone know how this blessing has enhanced my life for the better. Have a great day! :)

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Natalie Bostelman said...

Love it! Another PCH winner pays it forward. What a wonderful story :)

GOOD LUCK!

Natalie Bostelman
2008 SuperPrize Winner
PCH Goodwill Ambassador

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Tina Perry said...

Pch, I would help my mom buy a home as close to my house as I can get. She lives in New Hampshire and I dont see her much. She has lung cancer and has alot of trouble breathing. Its very scary! I would like her to live closer to me so I can spend more time to take care of her. And she can watch my 3 children grow up. I miss her not living close. Thats who I would help out! …..Tina

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Crystal Wheaton said...

Children from make a wish foundation, children from children’s miracle network, a family whos child may pass away because they don’t have enough money for an operation that the child needs to save its life, my family and of course myself.

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Nettie Jenkins said...

What a great story and it’s true(Smiles) ! I love her concept and it makes so much sense …Good Job PCH !

PCH Super Fan #1 That’s me

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Christine Stadtmiller said...

Thank you for your touching story. It is luck and I hope its me someday!!!

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Jimmie Carol Green said...

Dear Matt & PCH…That was a very sweet story, and Mariam seems like a very sweet lady.

I was facebook featured fan of the week back in March 2011. my photo has the yellow ribbon around me and the water fountain. Yep, that’s me.

If I’m a big winner someday, I want to help my church reopen here in Atascadero. We sold our church building to the homeless shelter whom, we had been housing for 10 yrs, they were out growing the space we could let them use. so now we have joined with another church in Paso robles, which is nice but we need one close to home!

I have a wonderful story of how my life has changed with Jesus!! my story began in 2009, when I landed @ that homeless shelter with just me and a back-pack! Yep…4 yrs later and this story continues to AMAZE me.. I started going to this lil’ church & then started school, and everything started changing in my life. I even quit smoking cigarettes (with one prayer!) after 35 yrs of smoking. On the 21st, October I will begin Liberty College online to get my bachelors in Christian Counseling. Is that Amazing or what. God bless PCH and all your fans!! Love, Jimmie

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linda moore said...

The homeless there are so many homelsee families living out on the street with kids we must do something for them and I intend to help what !everway I can when I win

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kathy smith said...

I have so many ideas and thoughts about how I could help others and it gives please to share this emotion and refreshes the inner spirit just knowing there is hope and faith in others who feel the same… Body language eyes… feelings spread among.close your eyes a minute. what it must feel in actuality?….I will keep in touch to all those friends and start new trends and pass around this wonderful change to all that are willing to receive!

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Jeff Petree said...

That was a good story , two doors down from florist getting her hair done lol and the.brother worked at the florist shop lol

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Jeff Petree said...

I be leave like she does and also not to waste a penny, A FOOL AND HIS MONEY WILL SOON DEPART . I will have a lot of New nicer things in life but I will be smart about it.

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Michaela G. said...

Wow!!! That is the sweetest story ever Matt K. This is the type of story that you see on TV. I love it, I love It! I just wanted to say I am glad it all worked out for her and she could help her family. I know it is hard these days and it is a lot of fun playing and dreaming of one day winning a BIG CHECK form PCH!!! Well, if I ever won a incredible SuperMegaPrize from PCH I would make sure my husband retired, and I would help my mother on so many levels, I would put a way money for my sons college. I could go on and on about what I would do for my family but it all depended on how much the BIG WIN FALL was for me to help them.

I know I just keep on trying to enter everyday in hopes my dreams will come true, but I do not know if any one has won this “$7.000.00 A Week for Life” out were I live, it seems that a lot of the winners live on the east coast. LOL!!! Well we will see what happens this November 26 in hopes that it will be me, because I believe that it will be me one day and you will come out this far to knock on my door!!! I just hope it is this November because, I would love to go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Okay Matt K., I hope you have a great work week, and keep up this fun, fun stories about the passed winners of PCH!!! I am looking forward in seeing who will be next and what happened to them and there families. So very exciting!!! I think it would be a great reality TV show or even a movie of the week.

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Debra Roddy said...

What a Wonderful and Touching story. I am so glad for Mariam, she is a sweet, wonderful grandmother. I would do exactly the same for my four grandchildren indeed. Education is very important, my oldest grandaughter wants to become a Speech Therepist, her sister is joining the National Guards, my 15 yr old grandaughter wants to become an Engineer at GA Tech and continue her education in the Art of Animation and work for Walt Disney as an Imagineer. My youngest grandson is only seven years old. I would buy a house and be able to get some Dental Work that I need. PCH is a Dream come True for anyone that wins !!!

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Wesley Ivey said...

I’m hoping it will happen to me one day!

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ruba khalid said...

if I win.i will help homeless people

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zulma I. Aponte said...

add your comment here

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Terral Lee said...

IF I WIN I will help the kids form school!

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Yvette Cabiness said...

In some of my comments, you know that once I win, I’m going to take classes. I’ve been in Health Insurance for over 30 yrs and I want to open up an non profit org., so I can help people understand their insurance and review their bills and to help them understand what rights they have to appeal. I guess I want to help so many people and I will..Take care

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jacob said...

i’m happy to hear she is still the same person after winning. she not only kept her old life but was able to help her grandchildren. a very caring mother (and grandmother) indeed.

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susan varughese said...

congrats to Miriam it is a wonderful thing that she invested her money for her grandchildren. God bless her and PCH for this great opportunity for everyone to enter and win. Love you guys. Good luck everyone.

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susan varughese said...

congrats to Miriam and i love what she did with the money for her grand children invest. God bless her for her wonderful deed. I love PCH and good luck everyone in entering.

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John Thurman said...

I would have to help the children h0spital and the VA

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Maria Miranda said...

She deserved it and I’m glad that she helped her grandkids go to college. If I won I would definitely take care of all my family members, friends, hungry/abused people, hungry/abused/poached animals, and the environment/Earth.

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CHRIS GRAY said...

If I won the big check right now I would sooo move out of this new York life to find peace and true happiness. but until then I can only wait and pray for the best for myself. and who knows maybe my time will come. bet of luck to the next big winner and I hope it’s me this time.

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Sara Thornton said...

Hi PCH,
Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story! Congrats to all of the winners thus far.
I keep playing and playing! I also send in a letter…

Thank you for fixing the problems we were having earlier with the error messages!

With gratitude,
Sara

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nancy robbins said...

I will use the money to help my local animal shelter and the animals in there. and use it some way to further adoptions and keep making my pet napper quilts for dogs and cats. I love PCH and have been entering a long time, and I love the products also that I have purchased throughout the years. PCH is a humanitarian organization and they do great work. I hope some day, that maybe I will be the lucky one.

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Stancio Butler said...

I wish my dream would come true tomorrow which is Oct. 15th too.

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maria estrella baccay platecki said...

for me pay off my all bills,share to my family,funds for college and donate to the charity were my kids live there before.good luck and god bless you all.this is amazing,awesome and fantastic i am very very addicted and super duper fanatic here so much.

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eyvonne kerns said...

I’m happy for Mariam and I’m happy the way she is using it because that’s what I will do. And I will buy me a house because I don’t have one.

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Keeper Birds said...

Well, depending on how much I won, there are many i would like to help, My brother roger jr, pay off his house and his medical bills from last yr, if not for him i would still be living in my truck. There are several that have educational bills still outstanding and more importnantly keeping on of my nieces in college in maine and get the other back to college and help another (especially since this is a new military wife and working mother) pay off her school debts. I have 3 daughters also with educational debts. and a nephew in college too etc.More than anything have a family trust of some kind so some of us that are sick with life long illnesses won’t have some of the worries I have had such as my other nephew.My brother and i both have grandchildren already and i even have great grandchildren.THese are just those know are in need. Or i would Hope not anyhow. But once those necessities were taken care of I would help my local food bank that comes out to Nancy Gnomes elementary school. Really I would love to erect a food pantry with a soup kitchen for the elderly in my community. to help those in my community get thru some of these tough times.Maybe even get some interest going in gardening next yr….and if it was really enough, maybe create a job or three :) just sayin/may as well dream big. Never give up HOPE.
As for Mariam, seems to have many of the same values I hold near and dear. Bearing the Burden of trying to bring Hope to the generations to come. I so respect that. Nice Ripple of what I call living the PCHWay.
Matt, thank you so much for sharing this story today. Nice! But as for me I really want to just one time knock on someones door and help them out just because I could, There was one night I prayed many hours cuz there was nothing in the cabinets, about 11 pm an a gentleman knocked on my door. It also happened to be deer season and he had just hit a deer. He claimed he was told to knock on my door and see if i wanted the meat. He proceeded to tell me that he would even dress it out right there in my yard if i didn’t mind. One time I just want to be the one that is the answer to someones prayer “just like that”. oh and just ride around my neighborhood and let go of one balloon at a time in the PCH Van of course. Like i said if you’re gonna dream I believe in DREAMING BIG. just sayin’

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janice barron said...

I am the mother of the sweetest daughter in the world. Two years ago she became unable to work for my 2 beautiful grandaughters so first of all I would be able to take better care of them. right now my little check is gone the next day. I already have several poor families I want to help. I would donate to St. Judes and I woild help families get their pets spayed and neutered, lots of them. I would keep on helping for as long as I can. I have been entering every day almost for four years. something good will happen I know. We talk about what we will do for others a lot,we even talk about a free diner where people can eat that can’t afford food. That would be wonderful for our Town of Troy Alabama. I wish everyone good luck and be blessed.

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eleanor tolbert said...

I would like to help my family and friends to overcome the generational curse

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Renee Crawford said...

It is about financial security. And Investments afterwords. Not blowing it all at once. Making it last to retire nicely on when you win big. That’s what it’s all about. But a splurge here and there doesn’t hurt :)

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Natasha Davis said...

I will help out my family…..for sure and a few local charities…:)

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Johnny Ruggles said...

To everyone on this blog and PCH:
I have served my country honorably for the past seven years, two deployments, and endless nights under the middle eastern stars have shown me that no matter what, there is always someone who has it worse. I enter these sweepstakes for fun and with the faith that what goes around comes around. I do not expect to win but I like to show people that there is always hope, always something to look forward to! I would like to say thanks to the PCH team for even doing this, I watch the videos of people winning and it gives me great joy to see someone’s worries and stressors disappear with the knock of a door from you guys! If I were to win I would love to give back to the community , show people that there is still a sense of compassion in the world, it feels much better to receive a gift than to buy a gift for yourself doesn’t it…lol with that being said I humbly ask everyone on this page to take the time and show people we care! Whether it’s a simple thank you or giving a stranger a buck or two, a little generosity goes along way! Just the other day I was listening to the radio station and a gentleman with Alzheimer’s came on and was asked ” hows life?” I was so humbled when he said and I quote “well, I wake up in the morning, I go to sleep at night…and in between I have three meals, I would say life is great” I mean this man can barely remember his name and he is still so grateful! We may not have everything we want in life, but we are still here and I encourage everyone to enjoy life, not dwell on the bad, see the good in others and give thanks everyday for what you have because it can be gone in an instant!

YOURS TRULY,
Johnny O. Ruggles
P.s.
Knock, knock?
Whose there?
Cash!
Cash, who?
No thanks, I’d rather have a peanut!!!

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Tracy Johnson said...

If I would win the $7,000 a week for life sweepstakes, I would immediately thank God for giving me the way to take care of my family. Then I would pay off all of my bills, take a real vacation, save up so our three kids can go to college and save and invest. I would also give money to various churches and charities.

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shannon Lively-snider said...

There are 3 families living in this house. If Jesus let me win I would pay my ties first! by some land and build 3 log homes for every one living here!! For 3 generations we been trying to win haven’t won yet but I HAVE HOPE!!!

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mar. math. said...

I would start a outreach program for kids in Foster care and help my mom…

P.s. ..good luck pch & pch fans…

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patt bear said...

How wonderful to read of the tremendous joy that PCH brings into the life’s of winners and their relatives plus charities.

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Tina Peterson said...

I have been entering PCH early on and I would love to win but at this time, I’m not sure what I would do besides pay off bills, remodel house, create college funds for grandchildren, help daughter and son-in-law who are struggling and if available afterwards, a secluded place on a lake where there is only peace, harmony and tranquility and of course FISHING!

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Edwin Dent said...

PCH is changing lives forever!

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Janet Friddle said...

My children especially my daughter she has been having a terrible time keeping their bills paid she has to juggle her husbands pay checks for years now and now she has a new problem because at 41 years old she is going back to school with a 5000.00 dollar grant the she was able to get. But she is going to become a pharmacy tech and when she gets to that point she will continue her college classes to become a pharmacy manager.
She she is going to rack up quite a lot of money to have to pay back and that is where I would help if I won the pch prize mony. And also I have two granddaughters that I would set up their college funds. I live on 1340.00 per month from disability income so you can see what my life is like.
I pray every night before I go to sleep for a financial windfall. Thank You

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Kelly Jones said...

I want to give my children a college education!
I am a single mom, my kids have to borrow fo
College and the fees are mounting up! I don’t
Want them to worry about all the expense just
Finish school so they can do something they
Love! My daughter wants to help people! Most
Important to her, I want to help her help people!

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JAN MORRIS said...

YOU KNOW I CAN THINK OF A LOT OF PEOPLE I WOULD LIKE TO HELP ! FIRST I WOULD LIKE TO HELP MY CHILDREN AND MY GRAND CHILDREN AND THEN I WANT TO HELP MY BARY SISTER AND MY BABY BROTHER THEN ARE BOTH SICK AND CAN’T WORK THEN MY NEPHEW HIS WIFE JUST HAD TWINS BOYS. THEN LAST MY CHURCH THAT HAS HELP US SO MUCH WHEN WE NEEDED HELP.SO IF IT IS IN GODS PLAN IT WILL WIN SOON MY HOUSE NEEDS SO MUCH WORK ON IT AND MAYBE I CAN GET SOME WORK ON IT AND IF I CAN’T THERE WILL BE ANOTHER DAY AND TIME. SO GOD BLESS YOU FOR GIVING MONEY A WAY YOU GUYS ARE GREAT THANK YOU EDNA J MORRIS FROM FLA

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Evette Lawrence said...

I feel everyone who is meant to win will win in due time. Just believe! I started playing and I hope someday it will be me and my families time. Dreams are often not to far away. God Bless all!

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Regina Smith said...

I just finished reeding all these stories about them lucky winners and it made me happy…. I just think it is wonderful to have such luck!!! I don’t even know, how I would react….. It would be a wonderful moment , what I don’t even can’t imagine…..dreams do come true and I believe in it…. For one person soon or later…:)… Until then, I will enjoy playing pch….. Maybe , one day…. My dream comes true….:)

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Erin Weidenhof said...

Amazing god bless her! What a wonderful read

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Joyce thomas said...

My husband my mother my church n some others

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Takeiya Cooper said...

Everybody!!! Who could be greedy.

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