Sioux Falls Resident Wins $4.9 Million Dollars in Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes
SIOUX FALLS- Imagine one day waking up and finding out you’re a millionaire. Well that happened to one Sioux Falls resident Saturday.
The Prize Patrol for Publishers Clearing House flew in from New York and were ready to give away some money in the Sioux Empire. However, sometimes the big surprise isn’t an easy feat.
It took some investigative work to find their winner. First they went to their apartment and no one answered. Then they started talking to neighbors.
“Often times when the prize patrol knocks on a winners door they’re not home because everybody has busy lives, so we have our tricks and we always track down our winner,” said Danielle Lam, PCH spokesperson for the Prize Patrol.
Finally with the help of the apartment manager, Kim Nelson, they tracked the lucky resident down at work.
59-year-old Carli Steffes never lost hope. She entered every day for decades, sometimes even twice a day and it payed off. She won 4.9 million dollars, the biggest lotto prize PCH has ever given away.
“Right now it was a really really tough time in my life and I needed to get out of here. And this is awesome. Sorry I’m going to cry again. But it’s just a blessing in disguise,” said Carli Steffes, PCH lotto winner.
She’s a cancer survivor and is going to use some of the money to pay off medical bills.
“I was on social security disability for ten years and I was having to pay a whole lot back. Now I can take a check and just give it to them. i’m just so happy,” said Steffes.
The first person she plans to call is a friend who told her she’d never win.
“I can tell him ‘guess what, I’m one in a million. I did it,’” said Steffes.
She has a lot of plans for the money, including helping out her family and church as well as buying a new red car.
“It’s so interesting to see the peoples stories. Everybody has a different plan for the money and you can tell that she really needed it and we see that all the time that we seem to show up just at the right time with that big check,” said Lam.
Carli says her advice is to not give up.
The prize patrol wants people to know that just because someone won in Sioux Falls doesn’t mean you should lose hope.
“We see often that in an area if there’s a big winner and it’s on the news people say ‘oh my gosh it is real.’ They start entering and we go back to the same city not long after and I’d love to come back,” said Lam.
Carli is a VIP Elite, which is a title she earned from entering the sweepstakes so frequently. Because of this she also received a $200 gift card to go out to dinner and celebrate her big win.