Detroit woman wins $1 million from Publishers Clearing House

Evan James Carter
The Detroit News

Detroit — Before Loriane Edwards even came out of her home in northwest Detroit, her family was in disbelief. The Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol was actually real.

When Edwards emerged from her home, her voice couldn't be heard over the din raised by her stunned children and grandchildren: She had won the $1 million prize from Publishers Clearing House.

Edwards, 82, put on a mask before accepting a bouquet of flowers and a check signifying her award from Howie Guja, a prize patrol member.

He then handed Edwards a real check, for less than $1 million, and explained her options for how she could receive the money. 

"I thank God for it," she said. "I want to figure out how we can get away. ... I've never been to Florida. I would like to go to Florida."

Loriane Edwards' family from right to left. Barron Harris, son, Cheniece Harris, granddaughter, Loriane Edwards, Lauren Davis, great-granddaughter, being held by Jade Harris, granddaughter. Grandson Michael McClure, 36, stands behind

Edwards will be one of only about 10 winners of $1 million prize through Publishers Clearing House this year.

Some who drove by gawked and honked their horns. Others held up a fist. 

"This is real ... in Detroit," said Edwards' grandson, Michael McClure, 36, of Dearborn.

"With everything else going on in the world right now ... it's kinda hard to explain. If they had called me and told me this, I wouldn't have believed it."

Cheniece Harris, 36, said the prize was a blessing for her grandmother, who had given so much to her family.

"She just always made everyone's dream come true," the Southfield resident said. "This is now her time to live her dream."

Howie Guja handed Loriane Edwards, 82, a giant check in Detroit on Tuesday, showing that she had won $1 million from Publishers Clearing House while Edwards' family watched

Like other Publishers Clearing House winners, Edwards didn't know she was going to win the $1 million prize Tuesday.

Guja said it's important for those entering contests with Publishers Clearing House to know there are several scammers trying to steal money from people thinking they've won a contest through the company. Someone from Publishers Clearing House will never ask a contest participant to give them money.

"We give the money away; we don't take money," Guja said. 

While anyone in the United States or Canada can enter contests hosted by Publishers Clearing House, Guja said Michigan is a "lucky" state.

"I've done so many prizes in Michigan in Detroit, Flint and Traverse City," Guja said. "It's totally by chance that we've had a lot of winners in Michigan."

Twitter: @EvanJamesCarter