Well, Wednesday, Nov. 11, Larry Busby of Salem, got just that. As he was checking out customers at work, Larry was awarded the big $10,000 Publishers Clearing House check, complete with the balloons, roses, champagne -- the whole nine yards.
Unknown to Larry, this had been a day-long adventure. Areawide Media was contacted Nov. 6 and told that Publishers Clearing House would be at the Salem Flower Shop Nov. 11 at 11 a.m., to pick up flowers and would then head to the house of a local individual that was receiving an award.
At 11 a.m., the Prize Patrol Deputies, Sal and Wendy arrived at the Salem Flower Shop. We (Areawide Media) were only told that the prize was $10,000 and that we were to follow them to the winner's house. So, we proceeded to Larry's house where his son, Corey, was outside. Upon questioning Corey, the Prize Patrol Deputies learned that Larry was not at home but was at Dollar General store in Salem working.
"Mr. Busby, how are you sir," Sal asked.
And that's when Sal and Wendy announced, "We're from Publishers Clearing House and you've won $10,000." Everyone in the store started clapping and cheering.
Larry smiled, and yelled, "Oh, wow! Oh yeah!"
When asked by store customers if he had any idea that he had won, Larry said he had no idea and didn't think this was going to happen even though he had entered many times.
When trying to call his wife, Tammy, Larry was so excited he couldn't remember her phone number. "If I can figure out how to work this thing (the phone) and I can't think of her number," he said.
Once he remembered her number and got Tammy on the phone, he said, "Hello ... Tammy. This is Larry. Guess what? Publishers Clearing House is here ... I just won $10,000." Tammy could be heard laughing through the phone.
When asked how many times he has entered the contest, he said he had no idea but figured that he had been entering over 20 years, off and on.
After all was said and done, Larry went back to work, but according to Store Manager Teresa Young, that's just the type of employee he is. "He is a very personable person. He's good with the customers. He never calls in. He is one of those that's one of a kind. He's one of those you just don't want to lose. He's always willing and able to help." Larry did end up getting the rest of the day off.
The day after he was given the $10,000, Larry said it still hadn't sunk in yet. "I told Tammy this morning that I'm still waiting to wake up," he said.
As far as deciding what do with the money, Larry and Tammy are taking their time to decide. "We don't know yet. We've thought of several different options ... paying off bills, getting a different car or whatever and our son (Corey) just got out of the hospital in Mountain Home, so we may be paying that bill." Plus they have a son, Eric, who is currently attending college in Walnut Ridge at Williams Baptist College.
According to a press release from Publishers Clearing House, Larry received one of 101 "reality checks" awarded during the week of Nov. 9-13 "to show that winning at Publishers Clearing House and pch.com is a definite reality."
According to the release, that week's winners are still eligible to win much larger Publishers Clearing House multi-million dollar giveaways.
One thing's for sure, Larry receiving the $10,000 not only put a smile on his face, but on the whole town of Salem. Everyone was overjoyed at the news of a local man winning the money and as many have said, "'It couldn't have happened to a more deserving couple."