Area woman among sweepstakes' finalists

Published: Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 1:22 a.m.
BRONSON - Patricia Westwood's chances of winning the $10 million Publishers Clearinghouse sweepstakes went from one in 500 million to one in 210 a week ago. Those increased odds didn't pan out for Westwood, but she wound up with $1,000 she wasn't expecting and several days of fun considering how she would have spent the millions if she had been the winner in the annual sweepstakes.
"My deal is that I would have donated a part of it to different organizations and I would have helped my parents," Westwood said.
Publishers Clearinghouse officials confirmed that Westwood, a convenience store clerk who lives and works in the Bronson area, got a letter from the national sweepstakes on Friday identifying her as the only finalist in the greater Gainesville area. In addition to notifying Westwood that she had won $1,000 in the sweepstakes, the letter told the mother of one and grandmother of three that she was among 210 people left in the drawing that would culminate Wednesday with one person opening their front door and seeing the prize patrol van, a bouquet of balloons and an oversized check with their name on it.
The prize patrol van apparently made headed to another state. An announcement posted on the Publishers Clearinghouse Web site Wednesday evening showed that N. Green of Sparta, Tenn., had won the $10 million prize.
Although no one showed up in Westwood's neighborhood with a big check, she was prepared to win a few extra thousand dollars if she had been the final winner.
Westwood said she memorized a script Publisher's Clearinghouse sent to all the finalists with the promise the winner could win several thousand more for saying on camera, "I just won $10 million. Now I know it's real."
Westwood said winning anything at all was a thrill and the $1,000 check she received last Friday was the first thing she could ever remember winning.
"I'm grateful for just the $1,000," Westwood said. "I guess we'll shove it into one of our vehicles" for repairs or maintenance.
Karen Voyles can be reached at 486-5058 or

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