It’s Matt, your friendly neighborhood PCH Winner Interviewer here. Usually I talk to our winners AFTER they are visited by the Prize Patrol. I’ll give them a call or video chat to find out what they’ve done with the money and also catch up about other things. But every once in a while, they’re so many prizes to be delivered, Danielle, Howie and Dave need me to lend a hand. Then I get to meet our winners just as they’re finding out they’ve joined the PCH winner “club”!
But you’ll never believe what happened last week when I flew into Missouri to award a $10,000 PCHSearch&Win prize to one lucky person, John Mathews!
Now you may or may not know this, but before every Prize Patrol trip, we send an email out to local news media to see if they would like to join us while we surprise the winner. We get coverage from TV stations, radio stations, newspapers – you name it! Media outlets are always intrigued by all of the things that go into putting together a winning moment.
My visit to Jefferson City, MO was no exception. Two reporters told me they were going to come, so I asked them to meet me at the local florist. The florist is usually a great place, because that’s where I’d be picking up some roses and filling my balloons.
Both reporters were really interested in what was going on, asking the usual questions like:
“Do people have to buy anything to win?”
Of course the answer is no!
“How can you afford to give away all of this money?”
It’s from the money we make selling our products and magazines!
And then finally:
“What do you do if the winner isn’t home?”
So at this point, I said something like, “Well let’s go see if we can find them!”
I pulled out the real check I had with me to show the reporters the address of where we were headed. Then Gracee Mattiace, a reporter for KRCG 13 TV, let out a gasp!
“I think I know the winner! I saw him this morning!”
Now we don’t usually reveal winner names before the winning moment, but in this instance, I made an exception. I showed John Mathews name, and Gracee began to scream.
“Yes! I saw him this morning at work! He’s an engineer at my TV station!”
The other reporter, Emily Cole, and I couldn’t believe it, so we all agreed she should call the station to confirm. Sure enough, the address I showed to them matched perfectly with what they had on file—and John was at the TV station at that very moment!
We quickly devised a plan – Gracee would arrange for a fake “all hands on deck” meeting to take place in the TV station studio, and I’d make the award right then and there.
Gracee quickly left the florist to make the arrangements, and I conferred with my own camera operator and the other reporter to make sure we all knew where we were going. I quickly packed everything up and zoomed on over to KRCG, its large broadcast tower standing tall above their building.
I went inside, and one of the station managers was there to greet me. She was thrilled that we were going to be surprising John and escorted me into the studio as one of the other managers was pretending to lecture everyone on something important.
I burst through the door and asked, “Excuse me, is there a John Mathews here?”
From the back of the room, John quickly hopped up and walked over to me. An avid PCH player, John knew exactly where I was from and why I was there to see him!
He said, “yup, that’s me!” and I awarded him his big check in front of the whole crew. All of the behind-the-scenes people, reporters and anchors were cheering and clapping.
I asked him what he wanted to do with the money and he said he’d like to buy his wife something nice – as long as it cost less than $10,000.00!
I’ve never heard of anything like that happening before on Prize Patrol, and it was quite a thrilling experience. Going on Prize Patrol never gets old to me!
I asked John how often he entered PCH, and he said “oh, everyday!” John was definitely in it to win it. Is that how you could describe yourself? Are you making the most of every chance PCH gives you to win a prize like this? I hope you are – it’s the best way you’re making sure that you’re entering every day in every way!
Matt for the PCH Prize Patrol