Trash Collector Scoops Up Contest Cup Worth $200,000 From His Truck
Oct. 26, 1995
PEABODY, Mass. (AP) _ Garbage truck driver Craig Randall sometimes brings his work home with him.
There was that old-fashioned sewing machine he salvaged. There were some books he lifted from the trash. And then there was that Wendy's soft-drink cup good for a $200,000 grand prize.
Neither Randall nor his fiancee believed it until Thursday, when Randall drove his garbage truck to a Wendy's restaurant and picked up his check.
``I will probably still tell him not to bring stuff home from the trash,'' said his fiancee, Michelle Dacey.
Randall, 23, said he lifted the cup off a pile of trash _ he can't remember what day, exactly _ while on his route in the Boston suburb of Dedham for Waste Management Inc.
After all, he had peeled another contest sticker from another cup earlier. He won a prize with that one, too. ``I won a chicken sandwich the week before, and I figured, hey, I'd get some fries to go with it,'' he said.
This time the ticket said: ``Congratulations. You have won $200,000 toward a new home.''
He put the sticker in his pocket and went back to work. The cup?
``I threw it away, thinking it was a joke _ that I was going to have to come up with $600,000 to get my $200,000,'' he said.
That evening, he showed the sticker to Dacey and his sister, who mailed it off to Wendy's. When it turned out to be legitimate, Randall hired a lawyer to make sure he qualified even though he found the cup.
Now, he and his lawyers are checking out the tax implications of the windfall.
``That's all he's ever talked about since I met him _ buying a house,'' said Dacey, 25.
In fact, the couple's idea of Sunday fun is cruising for houses in East Bridgewater, the middle-class town 25 miles from Boston where Randall lives.
They'd like a nice Cape, with a farmer's porch. ``And I want a stone fireplace, but that's under discussion,'' Dacey said.
They plan to marry in September.
Somewhere, of course, is the unlucky soul who threw away the prize-winning cup. Somewhere.
``I have no idea where it came from,'' Randall said. ``It was sitting right there.''