By Ann Frances –
They say you can’t win unless you play. The Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol says Marc Friedman of Irvine plays often. In fact, according to the company, he played online at pch.com 29 days out of the last 30 days. That might have helped him to win $5,000 a week for life, and to choose someone else to win $5,000 a week after he dies.
Friedman, who lives in the Woodbridge community, wasn’t at home the afternoon of Feb. 28 when Danielle Lam and Howie Guja of Publishers Clearing House arrived on his doorstep with balloons, a bouquet of red roses just purchased from Azar’s Florist in Irvine, a “big” check, and the news of his winning.
Here’s a look at the moment the prize patrol team realized he wasn’t home.
The duo located Friedman at his Newport Beach office where he said he would accept the delivery. His co-workers cheered him on as the award was presented by Lam and Guja.
Friedman says he plans to use the money to renovate his entire apartment, to help out family members and to travel.
He can get started right away because Guja also had on hand a check for $50,000.
“Right today, on the spot, he gets a check for $50,000 that he can take right to the bank,” Guja said, as the team was assembling offsite for the big reveal. “It’s part of the winnings, but to prove that it’s legit,” Guja said. “It sort of kick starts things.”
He was also given $200 in cash which he used to buy his co-workers lunch.
Lam and Guja give away prizes and prize money several times a week around the country.
“Last week we gave away a million dollars in Omaha, Neb. and we surprised the guy at work,” Guja said.
“This is a big one, though,” Lam added. “It’s one of our biggest, if not our biggest.”
“I would say at least eight or nine times a year there is a prize of at least a million or more,” Guja said. “But once a week we’re giving out at least a $10,000 check. Sometimes there are two or three in a week.”
Guja said he didn’t believe anyone in Irvine had ever won a prize this big.
“We have a lot of winners in the state of California.”
“This is the way reality television should be,” Lam added.
Friedman said he’s been entering online nearly every day for the last 15 years or so.
“You can’t win,” Friedman said, “if you don’t enter.”