BUHL, Idaho – Rosemary Manley couldn’t believe it when she looked outside of her modest mobile home and saw the famous minivan with the big “Prize Patrol” sign pulling up.
With watering eyes and trembling lips, she glanced at her smiling husband, Ray. Then their lives changed forever.
Rosemary stepped outside and accepted a check from Publishers Clearing House for $20,000 – a bonus to supplement her actual prize: $1 million.
“It couldn’t come at a better time,” she blurted.
After regaining her composure, Manley held a bouquet of blue, pink and yellow balloons. As she let them fly into the air, she dedicated the launch to the memory of her daughter, who died seven years ago from breast cancer.
“When we let these go, that’ll be to my daughter in heaven,” she said.
Although Rosemary has been a regular Publishers Clearing House customer for the past 10 years, Ray Manley never expected to see a return on the investment.
“It’s kind of hard to believe with those odds,” he said. “I thought it was maybe a thousand dollars or something – not that much.”
Almost immediately, they called their daughter Allison who lives in Utah.
“You know any millionaires?” Ray Manley asked. “You do now.”
Publishers Clearing House is the world’s largest multi-magazine subscription agency. It will pay Rosemary Manley’s winnings over an unspecified time.
Manley is the 44th person to be awarded $1 million or more in prize money from the marketing company.
Manley hinted at how she might use the prize money.
“Our family have been on an up-and-down road,” she said. “We’ve got a couple of kids that are having problems.”
Besides helping family members, Manley, a cat lover, hopes to come to the aid of felines in the area. Even before becoming a millionaire, Manley did her best to provide for cats, feeding nine last winter.
“There’s some cats I want to get neutered,” Manley said. “I’m a great believer in taking care of animals.”
Regardless of how the couple spends their money, Ray Manley acknowledged one certainty.
“You’re forcing us into a change of lifestyle,” he said.