Prayers Answered For Publishers Clearing House Winner

It all started for Alma Greenlee when she threw away a Publishers Clearing House form one morning. On a whim, she picked it up and changed her mind.

Wednesday, a white van pulled up at her house and changed her life.

"I said, 'Oh, my goodness,'" Alma explains, "somebody's going to try to sell me something, or I ordered something and forgot it."

"But when I looked over a little further I saw those envelopes on that van and I knew instantly what it was."

What that van meant was a visit from Publishers Clearing House, and a big check for ten thousand dollars.

"You don't expect it to happen to you," Alma says. "It's something that's too good to happen."

Alma says it's a dream come true, or actually an answered prayer. Recent health problems like osteoporosis and cataracts had drained her savings, and her fixed income of 400 dollars a month was stretched thin.

"I had cancelled my life insurance and health insurance, and cable," she says, "and I was about to have my phone cut off and my kids had a fit."

She was also been having house problems. In her front yard, a high dirt level has caused house problems, and foundation cracks that have led to a dangerous situation in her bedroom.

"I was looking and it had leaked," Alma says, "and I saw what might be the beginning of some mold."

"Well, that just scared me to death."

Her kitchen could also use an improvement. Alma's been making cookies for church friends and family for years, but she's had to do it without an oven.

"I have a toaster oven that I use, but I tell you, you can just cook about six cookies at a time. When you're trying to cook them by the dozens, that takes time."

She can finally get that oven now. She says a weekend church lesson started all of this.

"I started praying about it," she says, "I didn't pray for a check, of course, but I prayed the Lord would help me with this."

"It took him two days to send me ten thousand dollars to get it done," she says, laughing. "It's miraculous when God answers prayers so forcefully."

Of course, Alma realizes before she'll get to spend her ten thousand dollar prize, the IRS will take some of it, and she also plans to donate some of her winnings to her church. But Alma can finally take care of some of her problems with a big check, and an answered prayer.

Reid Kerr ( reporting.