The Sinisi family will have an extra special Christmas this year.
The Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol paid a visit to Barbara Sinisi Wednesday morning at her home on South 10th Street in Altoona with a check for $10,000.
"No, I did not!" Sinisi exclaimed about winning when Prize Patrol representatives Patrice Amato and Maria Fermin presented her with a cardboard check, balloons, roses and a bottle of champagne.
Mirror photo by Ashley Gurbal
Maria Fermin, left, of Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol presents Barbara and Jim Sinisi with a $10,000 check Wednesday.
The prize was part of a 101-city blitz that Publishers Clearing House is sponsoring this week. Sinisi, 66, couldn't remember how long she's been playing Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes contests, but she used to play it through the mail. Now, she plays online.
"I've seen the commercials, but I never, ever thought I'd win," Sinisi said. "I thought maybe a thousand [dollars], maybe one of these years, but it's just too much."
Sinisi, a retired registered nurse, and her husband, Jim, who retired from PPG Industries, were watching their twin 10-year-old granddaughters, Annie and Danielle, when the Prize Patrol arrived. The girls had the day off from school because of Veterans Day.
Shaking, Sinisi invited the Prize Patrol inside. She couldn't remember the last four digits of her Social Security number as she filled out the Publishers Clearing House forms and had to look it up.
She said she plans to buy everyone in the family an extra Christmas gift with her money.
Amato called Sinisi earlier in the day to make sure she'd be home, under the guise of being from the U.S. Postal Service with a "special delivery." Sinisi didn't recognize the number on her caller ID.
"I thought, somebody's messing with me," she with a laugh.
Her sister Judy Quarello of Mechanicsburg arrived at the house shortly after the Prize Patrol - the family was planning to go out to lunch at Ponderosa Steakhouse with coupons Sinisi had clipped.
"I thought she was having a party," Quarello said. "She's always throwing parties."
Jim Sinisi said he couldn't believe it when the Prize Patrol van came to a stop in front of his home. "I saw them pulling up," he said. "And thought maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me."
Mirror Staff Writer Ashley Gurbal is at 946-7435.