Hagerstown woman visited by prize patrol, wins $10,000

November 15, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - With her husband unemployed and most of her time spent caring for her elderly mother-in-law, Beverly Schwartz said she was concerned about paying her mortgage this month.

She was agonizing over her monthly bills when the solution arrived on her doorstep.

The prize patrol from Publishers Clearing House handed Schwartz a check Wednesday for $10,000. It is enough money, she said, to pay off what she owes on her Beechwood Drive home in Hagerstown.

"This is wonderful," she said, clutching her giant check. "I can't describe it. It's unbelievable."

Publishers Clearing House is a direct marketer of magazine subscriptions and merchandise. More than $207 million in prizes has been awarded to those entered in the sweepstakes.

Spokesman Todd Sloane said that 20 to 25 prizes are awarded annually, ranging from $1,000 to $10 million.

Schwartz said she has bought magazines and other products from the company for 30 years but never thought she would win the sweepstakes.


"I always had faith I was going to win something," she said.

Another Hagerstown resident, Kenneth Nussear, won $12,000 from Publishers Clearing House in 2002, according to a company spokeswoman.

Schwartz said the money could not have come at a better time.

The 60-year-old's husband, Walter Schwartz, lost his job at Pangborn Corp. in late October. He was not home when the prize patrol arrived with the $10,000 check.

"He's out looking for a job," she said.

Schwartz said her husband is a draftsman, and there are few opportunities locally for him. After he suffered some blindness in his right eye from a detached retina, he was told he could not travel to Virginia and Baltimore for work as he had been doing.

After they pay what they owe on their house, Schwartz said there will be enough money left to save a substantial amount and even help a few of her favorite charities.

They'll also give $240 to their daughter who bought the couple airfare to Colorado for Christmas. They have two daughters and a grandson who live there.

Schwartz said they couldn't afford the plane ticket, so their daughter bought it for them.

"I was going to pay her back," she said. "And now I can."

Another luxury item for Schwartz this holiday season was a Thanksgiving turkey. On Wednesday, while looking over her stack of bills, Schwartz said she didn't think the couple could afford one.

"I'll be buying a turkey now," she said. "A big one."

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