We Prize Patrol’ers have busy lives – at the office, at home, on the road – sometimes having two or three prizes to deliver on one trip. As a result, every hour counts and we have to be ultra-organized.
The day before we leave Prize Patrol headquarters, we prepare a timetable covering every step of the mission: from an alarm clock wakeup, through airport security, to flight connections en route, to picking up the Prize Patrol van, to picking up the roses and balloons, to meeting our camera crew and local media, and finally arriving at the winner’s home and producing — ta dah! — the “winning moment.” Then we might have a second or even a third stop for more “sur-prize” awards. We also leave time in the schedule for quick meals and changing clothes, for posting photos and hints on Facebook, for drive-time between here and there, and maybe searching for the winner at work or who-knows-where if he or she isn’t home.
You’d think that with such careful planning everything would go like clockwork, right? Well, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Airlines have a pesky way of incurring flight delays – maybe through “late arriving equipment.” Or maybe Mother Nature turns a sunny day into a stormy nightmare – with unpleasant results. Then sometimes GPS navigation can send us off-course so we need extra time to “recalculate.”
We have learned over our 25+ years of Prize Patrol’ing that some airports are harder to cope with than others. For example: Airports coded DFW, ATL, ORD and STL have trams and/or miles of concourses between departure gates that can really tucker you out. Then some airports – like recently visited Columbia, Missouri – are small and easy to get around. Some rent-a-car facilities are miles away from the terminal while others are right outside the door. Our experiences — both good and bad from hundreds of trips — have improved our ability to plan wisely.
Why am I telling you all this? Because we want you to know that we take our delivery of prizes very seriously. Many times we have arrived at a winner’s home just in the nick of time – to provide urgently needed funds for rent or a new roof or school tuition or a medical emergency or ______ (YOU fill in the blank).
As you know, the Prize Patrol will be on the road again in just a few days – August 31st to be exact, and we’ll be surprising one lucky winner with a Big Check. Tell us: would you love it if we came to surprise you?
Wishing you the best of luck – and hoping for the smoothest of missions!
PCH Prize Patrol Ambassador