Soft drink could mean hard cash for Danville man

July 12, 2004|TIM WISEMAN

Diet Pepsi has never tasted so good to Donald Carter.

After submitting a code from a Diet Pepsi cap earlier this summer, the Danville man was randomly selected to become one of 200 sweepstakes finalists who will compete on a national television game show called "Pepsi Play for a Billion."

"I drink a lot of it," Carter said of his favorite drink. "It's got a little bit of a better taste to it now."

That's because in September Carter and his wife Isabel will travel for free to Los Angeles, where he could take home the $1 billion grand prize.


Carter said he was told by Pepsi officials that the prize will be awarded randomly, as each of the 200 finalists will select five six-digit numbers which will be used to find a winner. One of the 200 contestants is guaranteed to win $1 million and there is a one-in-1,000 chance that the $1 billion prize will be awarded during the one-hour special hosted by Daman Wayans that will air at 8 p.m. Sept. 12 on ABC. Finalists for the contest will continue to be selected until Aug. 17.

Entering the contest was just a second thought for Carter. He said he was on his computer and two caps happened to be there, so he went to the Web site and typed them in.

And then he forgot all about it.

When he got a phone call from Pepsi informing him of his selection, Carter still was not sure what to think.

"I was quite surprised," said Carter, a 63-year-old retired electronics technician. "People always say they never win anything, and that's true, I hardly ever have won anything."

After more calls from Pepsi and a FedEx package with affidavits to sign, Carter said everything started to sink in.

With four children and eight grandchildren, Carter said he has plenty of good ideas for what to do with the prize money, but he is trying not to think too much about winning.

"I am not really allowing myself to think that far ahead," Carter said. "I am taking it low-key and trying to take it one step at a time."

Central Kentucky News Articles