A little windfall came down on a Laredo family, courtesy of the Publishers Clearing House. When you think of this company, the first thing that might come to mind is the overjoyed people seen on commercials screaming in happiness. However, as Valerie Gonzalez reports in this Pro8News exclusive, this time it was a little different.
The Publishers Clearing House van. It's a vehicle a lot of people dream about seeing, but for one Laredoan that was particularly true.
Dave Sayer is getting ready to deliver another big check, as his cameraman mics him up. It's just another day doing what they do best, delivering checks to lucky winners. After some last minute details, they're off. It's all part of the routine. Now comes the moment everyone expects, right?
Typically the Publishers Clearing House is used to surprising the recipients, but today the tables were turned. After ringing the doorbell, Mrs. Maria Salas greets us, but regretfully explains to us that her husband and the winner, Luis Salas, passed away two weeks ago from a heart attack. After a pause, David Sayer makes a decision: the award will now go to Salas' surviving family – a prize that was always Luis' dream of winning. Maria de Jesus Salas, Luis Salas' late wife, explains, 'Me dio gusto, y pense en lo tanto que el queria el sacarse un premio. El decia 'un dia me voy a sacar un premio.' Y pensar que el acaba de morir cuando recibio ese premio." [Translation: I was very happy, but at the same time I thought about how much my husband always wanted to win. He would always say someday he would. Now, I'm just thinking about how he won after his death.]
After some paperwork and goodbyes, the team heads out ready for another day. Dave Sayers, Publishers Clearing House Executive Director, says of today, "Every single time it's a thrill, always something new, something different."
Now, Maria has her husband's priceless memories and a little reward for his hobbies too. So, although this story does have its bittersweet moments, in the end, the Salas family is happy they got to see Luis' dream come true.
Mrs. Salas says she hopes to use the money primarily to take care of debts.