Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How I Won $50,000 on a Cookie House - The End!

My finish-itis compels me to complete the gingerbread house story, but so much has happened in December that I am not blogging about!  I have so many Christmas posts in my head.  Plus A LOT has been happening with the school board... so stay tuned.

So what happened after I won the $50,000 in the Gingerbread House contest?  Check in hand,  I headed for our bank.  We did not have a savings account and I wanted to start one.  I waited in line at the teller window with my two boys in tow.  I stated that I wanted to open a checking account and was referred to the next teller who referred me to a woman at a desk who referred me to another woman at another desk.  I suppose I didn't look too interesting in my parka (Hey, it's Wisconsin! And they were "in" at one time.  At least I tell myself that.) with two little boys dragging along.  I was finally seated and told the woman that I had a check and I wanted to deposit some of it into my checking account and use some to start a new savings account.  "Ok," she said.  "How much do you want to deposit?"  Looking her in the eye - I replied, "$10,000 in the checking account and $40,000 in the savings."  Silence.  Her eyes got big and then bigger.  "Really?  Is it all in one check?  Why do you have a check for $50,000?"  Soon there was a crowd of bank employees crowded around us looking at the picture of the gingerbread house.  That was fun.

I also started getting phone calls from other people who had entered the contest.   They wanted to know if I really did win the money.  Many people wanted to know what my house looked like.  They wondered how I was going to spend the money.  They wanted to tell me how they would have spent the money if they'd won.  One woman told me she and her sister got drunk and made the gingerbread house and she was planning to give part of her winnings to a home for handicapped children.  She seemed a little perturbed that I won.  Brach's mailed a flyer with photos of the winning houses to the $3,000+ people who entered the contest and I unlisted my phone number for a while.

I don't know what you think, but that one in the lower left of the page is pretty cool... but he didn't take it outside, did he?

If you've been paying attention, you know I had some other unfinished business in the way of promises to keep.  My friend, Heather, talked me into entering the contest and I told her if I won, I'd give her a thousand dollars.  I wrote her a check and we had a fun buying spree one day at the big outlet mall in Kenosha.

I also promised my niece the "Guess" outfit of her dreams if she helped babysit the boys.  We went to Boston Store and she bought some "Guess" overalls, a "Guess" belt and a "Guess" shirt.

An article appeared in the local paper.

Those bangs.  Ouch.
The article is incorrect - there was no wallpaper.

Larry and I determined that taxes would claim about $15,000, so we immediately deposited that much into a CD which earned another $1,000 in the year we had before it was due on April 15th, 1991.  With the rest of the money we paid some bills and student loans.  I gave $5,000 to my church for tithing.  We saved some.  I bought an armoire to put our TV in.  It went way too fast.

The house?  It was on the freezing front porch and the hard candy had started to "drip."  My boys had been chipping off pieces and eating it.  I threw it in the garbage when I won because I knew everyone would want to see it and it was a mess.

The reason for the title of this story?  I told one of our friends about the contest - a corporate business man.  He wasn't very interested, "So, what did you get for the cookie house?  A bag of mints?"  "No," I answered, "$50,000."  Suddenly, he was at rapt attention and full of interest and new found respect.  Why does money do that?

Most important of all, we determined that we could afford to have another child and I delivered a healthy baby girl on April 20, 1991... should have named her Ginger.


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Lemon tree very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet-
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

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