REMEMBERING DORIS GRAY

Doris Gray

The very best part of being a member of the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol is meeting the wonderful people who win major prizes in our famous sweepstakes.  Whether the prize we deliver is worth thousands or millions of dollars, it doesn’t matter: each winner is unique and a blessing to their families and friends – even before they win a Big Check.

In the case of Doris Gray, who passed away on October 29 after a three-year battle with cancer, she blessed not only family and friends but generations of students as well.  This was dramatically demonstrated in February 2009 when the Prize Patrol surprised her at the Paterson, NJ school where she served as teacher, mentor and mother figure for 38 years.

On a day we will never forget the principal asked Doris into the school cafeteria – Doris had no idea why – where we Prize Patrol’ers waited with roses, balloons and a Big Check which read “$5,000 A Week for Life.”  When she saw us and realized what was happening she shrieked in shock and held onto colleagues for support.  The assembled student body applauded and cheered “Mrs. Gray! Mrs. Gray! Mrs. Gray!”

Among the hundreds of PCH “winning moments” I have witnessed, this has got to be one of if not the most thrilling.  Watch this video captured by the Newark Star Ledger and you’ll see what I mean.

Eve, a Prize Patrol’er in 2009, recalls that Doris’s “winning moment was so moving it actually became a theme for one of our television campaigns.  She was one special woman and will be remembered always.” 

Allison, another Prize Patrol’er at the time, recalls “It was clear that day how much Doris was admired and loved by all in her community. She was a kind, humble and gracious winner.”

A few weeks later, Doris — accompanied by her husband Willie, daughter Kristin and a large, loving family — came to our PCH headquarters for a celebration.  Her charm and radiance overwhelmed all our employees.

Remembering Doris Gray

Of course Doris kept working.  At the end of the school year she threw a party for everyone there – which was typical; she never used her winnings for herself: no new car or home or jewelry, no trips or any other material things.  Instead, Doris gave to friends and family when they were in need and to organizations she was passionate about.  Giving brought her greater joy than receiving.

Doris and I spoke by phone at various times over the years.  She was ever grateful for her prize (which she elected to take in a lump cash payment).  She spoke of her illness but remained positive and upbeat.

With such powerful recollections of Doris, all of us at PCH were saddened to hear of her passing.  We extend our sincere condolences to her family.  This small but mighty and inspiring woman will remain in our hearts and memories for years to come.

Dave Sayer

Dave Sayer
Prize Patrol Ambassador


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Showing 51 Comments
Charlene Dean said...

So sorry to hear this very sad news. I hope she enjoyed the remainder of her life. It seems this was a blessing in disguise. Good bless her and her family.

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Natasha Davis said...

That is so sad……I am glad Mrs. Doris was a wonderful women……..*I pray for the family…Rest in peace:)

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Natalie Bostelman said...

Mrs Gray, you were a lovely woman. Always looking out for others. I am sure you inspired so many in your community.

Natalie Bostelman
2008 SuperPrize Winner
PCH Goodwill Ambassador

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robin dausey said...

This is a sad,but great story about a person that devoted her life to teaching and helping others,my heart goes out to her family as she was a very special person and thanks to PCH for sharing this story!!!

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W S said...

Life can be short at times due to unforseen occurrences. My condolences goes out to her friends and family.

“The Remembrance of the good done those we have loved is the only consolation when we have lost them.” -Demoustier

May the memories of the late Mrs. Doris Gray be with us [For Life]

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Brenda Hodge said...

So sad to hear of the passing of Mrs. Gray. Shocking news. I’m accustomed to seeing her face on your site and in the tv ads. I can remember the day she won.My heart goes out to her family. Thanks PCH for letting us know.PCH…. you bring so many people together through your site (especially your Blog and facebook site). It’s also nice to hear that you continue to keep in touch with your winners.

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yaxi said...

Great woman, God bless her and her family.

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Sarah Kalenda said...

Very sad that someone like this passed on… Great story.

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Ruhul Kuhn-Osius said...

Rest in Peace Doris Gray. I hope there will be more Doris Gray who will win the big prize and follow her good deed.

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K frye said...

So sad to hear of mrs grays passing. She never gave up hope!

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Sara Dalsing said...

What an inspirational person she was…a movement of love dwells in her

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Dee Dee said...

This is such a sweet and memorable tribute. Thank you for updating us Dave. Have a great day.

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Rotisha Young said...

I’m touched by her story because she was excited about giving back to her friends, family, co-workers, and students in and outside of the community, as oppose to buying fancy things for herself. I am by no means selfish and would graciously give back to individuals I have touched and been touched by. So there’s a connection between Doris and I because it pleases me to be able to give tangible and intangible blessings to others.

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Kerry Bloss said...

R. I. P. Doris, let God bless in the sky with angels. The bible say that you can not take money with when you go, but I her family will be bless .

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quitta said...

Yes, I remember Doris Gray. Send a condolences to her family for me.

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stephanie wurtz said...

I have been entering by mail lately, I just drop a note with my name and address, and I was wondering how much mail PCH gets on a daily basis?

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Paula Ducote said...

I am so sorry to hear of Doris Gray’s passing. I remember when she won and how surprised and gracious she was. She was so beautiful to think of helping so many people with her winnings. I pray comfort for her family and friends and know that Doris’s spirit lives on in the lives she has touched!

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David lemons said...

Hello PCH I’ve been thinking and wishing that myself to be on tv wow That’s unbelievable I would be Shock if I win 7000 a week for life Unbelievable I wouldn’t know what to say ill be in a state of shock

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gina castanza said...

RIP Lady. You brought many smiles to everyone you knew.

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Stancio Butler said...

Since Doris Gray is now dead, Please let that computer pick my number by 11:59PM tonight.

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susan varughese said...

i am so sorry for her loss, but she was a inspirational women i bet..from the reading she loved to give rather than recieveing. good luck to the family and god bless.

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PM said...

I hope that I win :). I’m going to keep trying, one day it will be my time to shine.

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Maria Miranda said...

God bless you and rest in peace, Mrs. Doris Gray.

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Ella Alexander said...

Hello, Dave…I have read about you and your Blessed memories at PCH. It is a same that some one is out there Scamming people pretending to be you to get money . Just tonight I was approached on my fb page that I had won $7,000 for life by someone posing to be you. This person told me to go get $150 money pack from Walgeens and give the code on the back to him to activate it and he would deliver the check to me at my home tomorrow, and I would get the money back when the check is presented to me. Boy!! He/she really thought they had a stupido!! After I told the Creep what I really thought about him and the SCAM. I demanded him to get off my fb page . I further told him that he killed my joy, because 1/2 my life I had enter in the PCH sweepstakes and enjoyed doing so, and still got excited just to see all the smiling face and happy feelings of people when they won. I asked this person not to hurt anyone else. He then deleted himself. I still have the conversation. His last reply was.. “lol”.. Thank you for listening… Oh, buy the way. I’ll never give up! maybe one day.Be Blessed.

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Michaela G. said...

Thank you Dave for the wonderful but sad update.

I do remember Doris Gray winning, and loved seeing the reaction on her face when she won the $5,000 A Week for LIFE. I remember she was the first one to win this sweepstakes prize. It is very sad to hear that she has passed away.

It was sweet to hear that she helped so many people with her money and through a party for everyone at the end of the school year.

Well, I will say a prayer for her and her family.

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Mylene Quiambao said...

Sorry to hear that…Condolence to the family of Doris

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DeLayne Perry said...

I am sure she left BIG footprints in the hearts of many that loved her! No more suffering!

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Dale Duncan said...

She was an awesome mother who loved her incredibly talented daughter enormously! Thoughts are with you.

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Mrs. A.T. said...

To be content with what you have and to give the rest to others is indeed a blessing. I’m sorry for the families loss and the generations of children that will not be blessed by having her as their teacher. Remember the good she has done, the blessings she has left and that she lives on in your hearts.

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Deborah Holland said...

I have fond memories of Doris Gray. I was privileged to meet her and her family when they came to visit PCH Sweepstakes Headquarters in Port Washington, NY. She was a quiet, humble person who was thoughtful of others. I could tell she was full of grace and dignity. She will be missed.
-Deborah Holland @PCH

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Ruby Arends said...

So sorry about Mrs Grey, a real modern Santa. From reading the story, she had more pleasure giving than receiving :>

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christopher williams said...

Doris Gray was my Aunt to say she was one of the kindest most caring individuals I have ever met would be an understatement. Even after She won, she did not change on bit. She spent little of her winnings on herself but graciously gave to others selflessly.

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A.B. From Ocala Fl said...

I’m so sorry for the family loss. I always enjoy to see her winning moments. And it’s so touching to hear how she shared her blessings.
When I win I’ll help a lot of people too because I believe “there is more happiness in giving than is in receiving”

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Iryna Nyemtsova said...

G-d bless and RIP :( Doris. So sad

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Shannon Gomillion said...

Watching Mrs. Gray win brought a smile to my face and hope. Hearing the children cheer for her was heartwarming, showing just how loved she was by the community. I’m more than delighted the prize went to someone so deserving. It’s more than unfortunate she is no longer with us.Thank you, Dave, for such a sweet post about Mrs. Doris Gray.

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robert abraham said...

What a dear person she was. I loved that winning moment. God Bless her and her Family. Rest In Peace now Doris.

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Phyllis Reneau said...

That is what it is about. Sharing. My God be with her family. I hope to recieve a blessing to help my family and others. Many prayers, RIP

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Deborah ogden said...

Sorry to hear about this …Doris. video made me started playing the pch games to win back in 2010 .And will continue to play.The Gray family are in my prayers.

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Determined said...

She’s definitely in a better place now. My condolences to the family

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florence roberson said...

So sad for miss Doris’s family and friends ! Praying for her family . she has blessed each and everyone I’m sure through her yrs. Of service to her community . Her memory will live on and God Bless them all!

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Rebecca Corley said...

poor girl, at least she had a thrill of a lifetime, and the knowledge that she could leave a blessing to someone.

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Louis Voltaire said...

Wow she was a nice lady I am sorry to here that she will be remembered godbless her she is in a better place now no more suffering Dorris rest in peace I didn’t now her by reading about she was a nice person alway helping others that great it’s alway good to give u reseive in kind of ways godbless u and your family Dorris wow nice lady godbless her

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Sheila Siler said...

Doris was my first cousin. To me, she was baby #2. She was a little giant and she will be missed. I love your baby #2.

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valetta lee-manning said...

RIP Doris un gave me everything I could have wanted

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Pauline J. Irwin-Silva said...

Thank you for sharing.
I did not know that she had passed.
Sad…grace was with her.
She was a wonderful example of what grace is all about.
pjs

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Wanda grieve said...

Hello mr sayer, I recently received a letter saying I was a winner of 1,500,000.00 and was to call u at 1-315-750-4189 to verify my numbers code WPCH-7890-EP883PP is this a true letter or a scam ? I am unable to call number. Thank u please call 443-207-1247 or email

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Wanda grieve said...

Great for her and god bless

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Shaconda said...

Wow seems as if she was blessed to be a blessing to others..first thing she thought of when winning was to help someone else! Wow what an inspiration but it sadden me to see that she had passed away after just viewing on tv “Lottery changed my life”! Dreams do come true but must have no regrets and always think of how you can be a blessing to someone else.

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Mildred B.R. said...

She seemed like a nice lady. May Ms. Gray rest in peace and I wish her family good memories of their loved one.

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