There’s no doubt that a sweet Halloween is in the cards for Kathy Martin.
When the former Millbury woman makes a stop at her son’s Oregon home on her way to her winter home in Florida this weekend, the family will be welcoming more than trick-or-treaters at the door.
On Oct. 31 at 1 p.m., the Hostess Prize Patrol will roll up to visit Kathy, and they won’t just be bringing cakes and pies – they’ll be bringing dough and plenty of it as part of the “Hand out Hostess on Halloween Sweepstakes.”
Just this week, Kathy was chosen as the winner of the nationwide sweepstakes conducted by Hostess. On Sunday, she will have the opportunity to choose two oversized envelopes from a deck of 15 that will be spread out on the front lawn of her son Patrick's South Eastmoreland Drive home.
Each envelope will contain a picture, and if Kathy picks the two envelopes containing matching halves of a Hostess Cup Cake, she will win the $1 million Grand Prize.
If not, she’ll get a $10,000 consolation prize.
“They said there’s one in 105 chances to get the $1 million,” Kathy said. “So I’m expecting the $10,000.
“There’s an old saying, it’s better to be pleasantly surprised than bitterly disappointed,” she added.
“I had six kids, and I’ve been paying catch-up on bills for a long time, so even the $10,000 will be great,” she said, adding that she’s also been eyeing used pontoon boats on craigslist.
Kathy, a self-described “sweepstakes junkie” spends a couple of hours a day entering sweepstakes and contests, mostly through onlinesweepstakes.com.
“This contest was on there, but actually, I got an e-mail from Hostess inviting me to enter,” she said. “It was a daily contest, so I just saved the e-mail and entered every day.”
In the past, she has won a guitar, a metal detector – even a kitchen faucet, “but nothing big,” she said. On Tuesday, Oct. 26 – a day after the contest ended – she received the call while at her mother’s Bay City, Mich. home notifying her she was the sweepstakes winner.
“I was flabbergasted,” she said. “When they said they wanted to come on Halloween, I told them I wasn’t going to be here. My mother just turned 90 today (Oct. 27) and she and I spend winters in Florida. We were planning to leave Friday,” she said.
“The woman said they may be able to do it a week later in Florida, but she wasn’t sure,” Kathy said. “Then I said, `Wait a minute – you said this was for a million dollars? I think I could stay around for that.’
“I was going to stop at my son’s house in Oregon Friday and leave for Florida Saturday,” she said. “I told her I could stay in Oregon for a couple of extra days.
“When they found out it was only an hour from the Detroit airport, they agreed to come there,” she said.
Though she’d be happy with winning $10,000 she can’t help but indulge herself with a few “what ifs” should she win the $1 million.
“If I’m lucky enough to win the million, I want to help out my kids,” she said. “My son has his private pilot’s license and his goal is to become a commercial pilot so I told him if I win the million, I’ll pay for his schooling.
“And my daughter is graduating as a school teacher in May and I told her I’d pay off all those student loans,” she said.
“I wouldn’t want to change my life too much – I’d just be more comfortable and maybe have a few nice fun things to enjoy my retirement with,” she added.
Either way, she’ll continue to try her luck in contests and sweepstakes.
“My mother has always complained about me spending so much time on the computer, entering sweepstakes,” she said. “I’ve always said, ‘The big one is going to come in, Mother,’” she said. “She’d say, `sure, you haven’t yet.’
“So now she won’t complain so much about me being on the computer,’” Kathy said.