[Hpn] A very happy meal Former homeless man gets $1 million in McDonald's giveaway

wtinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Mon, 3 Sep 2001 23:15:39 -0400


A very happy meal: Former homeless man gets $1 million in
McDonald's giveaway

              Monday, September 3, 2001


            (09-03) 04:36 PDT HOLLY HILL, Fla. (AP) --

             A former homeless day laborer had a happy meal at a McDonald's
 over the weekend.

             McDonald's corporate managers awarded Patrick Collier with a $1
 million prize they said was randomly given out as part of the restaurant
 chain's effort to restore consumer confidence in its sweepstakes
promotions.

             Managers approached Collier, 35, and his fiancee, 29-year-old
 Sandi Fabian, as they sat down just after 10 a.m. on Saturday to have
 breakfast.

             "I thought I had done something wrong, but I was confused when
 they handed me this certificate telling me I had won a million dollars,"
 Collier said.

             Collier and Fabian had been frequenting the restaurant for
about
 six weeks and lived across the street in a hotel room they shared with
 Collier's mother. Just months ago, they were homeless, sleeping on
cardboard
 boxes and earning $50 a day as laborers when they could find work.

             McDonald's said the restaurant in Holly Hill, about five miles
 north of Daytona Beach, was one of five selected at random to distribute
 five $1 million grand prizes. Fifty people will also be given $100,000
 awards during the giveaway.

             McDonald's announced the promotion in the wake of an FBI
 investigation last month, which found that an employee of a marketing
 company contracted to run McDonald's Monopoly game allegedly stole more
than
 $13 million in winnings.

             Nancy Izquierdo, a McDonald's spokeswoman, said team members
 choose someone to receive the prize without any criteria.

             "It's just a matter of being in the right place at the right
 time," she said Sunday.

             Collier said he already has super-sized plans for the money.

             "I'm getting a Harley," Collier said, "and a couple of houses."

             "And one for me. He always said he'd buy me a house," added his
 mother, Judy LaBounty.