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