Here at PCH, we’ve awarded an amazing amount of money over the years, and have changed so many people’s lives. In fact, we’ve awarded over $327 Million in prizes! We’ve also awarded 94 Millionaires!
The Prize Patrol has been lucky enough to be there for the majority of these Winning Moments. So as we draw closer to our 100th Millionaire, I stopped to talk to the Prize Patrol’s very own Danielle Lam to get her feelings on nearing this incredible milestone.
Danielle was nice enough to sit down and talk all things PCH with me, from her first delivery to her feelings on the 100th Millionaire. She also has a good place to eat should you ever find yourself in Pagosa Springs. Here’s what else she had to say.
Joe: Do you remember your first Prize Patrol delivery?
Danielle: It was Las Vegas, Nevada. I’ll never forget Joe Beane. He was a postal worker. We ended up finding him on his route, and we surprised him around the corner. All this was before social media was up and running, so sadly we don’t have as much documentation about all that stuff.
J: When you first started going on deliveries, and you’d see their reactions, how would you react?
D: Oh, I cry every time. I do. I’m the crier of the group. It’s very emotional. I keep in touch with a lot of these winners. It’s a real bond that you create with these people that you never would have met in your life, and all of a sudden you had this moment together. It’s pretty cool! Everybody has a story.
J: Is there any one winner that stands out most?
D: I would say Penny Pompa. I love her. She was from Monroe, CT. She was struggling. She had a great job, and then she got sick. She had complications with Lyme disease, and she was not able to do her job anymore. She has three boys, all who were about to go to college. She’s a very spiritual woman, and she felt like something good was going to happen. She couldn’t understand what it was. She was saying for weeks she felt like something good was going to happen. To see someone struggle like that and then change their life… We’ve kept in touch. She’s a lovely, lovely woman.
J: You’ve delivered prizes all over America. Do you have a favorite place you’ve visited?
D: Definitely Pagosa Springs, CO. It was the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to. We had a great winner there named Tari Woods. It’s actually a funny story. We do a standup, where we reveal the check and announce where we are – of course, we do this for our promotional pieces after we award our prizes … we’d never announce a winner before surprising the winner. We did that standup in a shopping center. I don’t know why we did it there. Then we go to her house and she wasn’t there. So we waited. Ends up, she comes back with grocery bags… she was at the supermarket where we did the standup and saw us doing it! She saw us pulling in and was like “Is that the Prize Patrol?” Her neighbors came over for the Winning Moment and they were really nice, and they had young kids who were playing with balloons. It was such a beautiful moment.
Then she really wanted to bring us out. So she brought us to this local brewery called Riff Raff Brewing Company, and all the friends and all the locals came and were hanging out at this tiny little local brewery. We sat outside, we ate food. We had a great time there. The scenery was incredible. The food was good too!
J: So now that we’re getting close, are you excited about awarding the 100th Millionaire?
D: I am! But I am excited about every single award. Big, small. $10,000 or $10,000,000. Makes no difference, it’s just changing somebody’s life that I enjoy. I would hope when we do our 100th Millionaire that we would get a lot of media there. That always makes it very exciting because then everybody in that local area sees it on the news that night.
J: Any message to potential winners?
D: Never give up. Give it a shot! I know some people get very frustrated because they’ve been entering for years, but almost every singe winner says, “I never really expected to win. I was losing hope. But I just kept entering, because I felt like I should.” And then they hit it big.
Just don’t give up, and have fun with it! Go about your day and try to include us when you can, and just have some faith.