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READER'S DIGEST SWEEPSTAKES WINNER $5 MILLION RICHER; PLUS A SUPER BONUS PRIZE WINNER TAKES HOME COOL $1 MILLION

 PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- A pastor from South Carolina and a business consultant from Georgia today became millionaires in the 1994 Reader's Digest Sweepstakes.
 Lonnie E. Harris, 47, of Clover, S.C., won the $5 million grand prize, and Stanley M. Sasine, 66, of Atlanta, Ga., received the $1 million super bonus prize from The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.
 Harris and his wife, Dorcas, accepted a check for $167,000 from James P. Schadt, president and chief operating officer. The balance of the $5 million will be paid over the next 29 years.
 They also received an early entry bonus of $120,000 from Kenneth A. Gordon, president of Reader's Digest U.S.A., during a brief ceremony at the company's global headquarters in Pleasantville, N.Y.
 "For the price of a 29-cent stamp, you've just earned $5.1 million," Schadt said. "That's a pretty great return on your investment!"
 In Atlanta, a Reader's Digest representative presented Stanley Sasine with his first check for $33,334. The balance will be paid over the next 29 years.
 Lonnie Harris, a lifelong resident of Clover, S.C., is pastor of the Bethel House of Prayer. He and his wife, Dorcas, have four children. Harris was repairing his car when an overnight courier brought him the letter informing him that he had won the Reader's Digest grand prize.
 His eldest daughter had mailed back the entry form. "He was speechless," his wife, Dorcas, said. "We all were. When Lonnie sat down in his chair, I thought he was going to fall right out of it."
 Reader's Digest flew the Harrises, their children and daughter-in-law to New York in the company's corporate jet. The winners were treated to an all-expenses paid weekend that included a World Yacht dinner cruise around Manhattan.
 Stanley and Irene Sasine, originally from Long Island, N.Y., have lived in suburban Atlanta for 30 years. They have four children and 10 grandchildren ranging in age from 6 months to 21 years old.
 Sasine is a semi-retired business consultant. His wife, now retired, had been a manager for a women's-apparel wholesaler.
 The Sasines received their overnight letter on their 46th wedding anniversary. "This is the most wonderful news in our lives since the birth of our children," Sasine said.
 In addition to the $5 million grand prize and $1 million super bonus, Reader's Digest will award prizes totaling more than $7 million to 57,193 other lucky winners. Among them are:
 -- $100,000 cash: Everett D. Perry, Nahunta, Ga.; Bryant Webb, Athena, Ore.
 -- $50,000 cash: Marvin A. Nation, Glendale, Calif.; Mary C. Feid, South Haven, Mich.
 -- $25,000 cash: Jane M. Cline, Indianapolis, Ind.; Esther R. Rude, Kennewick, Wash.; Mrs. Leo Lamay, Shelbina, Mo.
 -- $10,000 cash: Henrietta Olson, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; Betty Leber, Markleysburg, Pa.; Clifford J. Roper, Washington, D.C.; Paul T. Yoder, Harrisonburg, Va.; and Joanne Cunningham, White Bear Lake, Minn.
 All winners were selected in a series of random drawings conducted by Donnelley Marketing Corp., an independent judging firm.
 Reader's Digest in 1962 was the first U.S. company ever to conduct a direct-mail sweepstakes. Over the last 32 years, the company has awarded over $114 million to nearly 2 million Americans.
 The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. is a global publisher and one of the world's leading direct mail marketers of magazines, books and home entertainment products.
 -0- 4/15/94
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Color film of the grand prize winner receiving his money will be provided to the Associated Press and will be transmitted via A.P.'s PhotoExpress Network this afternoon -- see photo PRN1. Also, a free photo to accompany this story will be available this afternoon via Wieck Photo Database to any media with telephoto receiver or electronic darkroom (PC or Macintosh) that can accept overhead transmissions. To retrieve a photo, please call 214-416-3686.
 Live video of the grand prize sweepstakes winner and B-roll will be available between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. today via TELESTAR 401 transponder 18, downlink frequency 406 MHz horizontal. Live video via transponder contact: Chris King, Reader's Digest, 914-244-5320/
 /CONTACT: Lesta Cordil, 914-244-5161, or Craig Lowder, 914-244-5159, both of Reader's Digest/


CO: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. ST: New York, South Carolina, Georgia IN: PUB SU:

TW -- NY001 -- 0561 04/15/94 11:40 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 15, 1994
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