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WAPAKONETA — The wire mesh barrel tumbles the pink cards around and around.
There are only two names left — Lima’s Kenneth Sturgill and Wapakoneta’s Lucy Zink — in the 4th annual Publishers’ Dash for Cash. The grand prize winner would take home $5,000 and the first name drawn of the last two would take home $1,000. Sturgill says he will apply the winnings toward his car or house. Zink says she will use it to replace an appliance.
The evening started 47 semifinalists names sealed in pink envelopes. As the reverse raffle started, the remaining contestants kept track marking off the names of those drawn.
Each person received a door prize from the participating advertisers, who made the evening possible.
Those seated in the Wapakoneta Country Club’s Par 5 restaurant began to drum their fingers on the table and the chatter increased as the excitement elevated.
The Evening Leader Publisher Gayle Masonbrink and Wapakoneta Daily News Publisher Deb Zwez had the final 10 people stand.
They started to fidget with excitement as they exited to claim their door prize.
It then came down to Sturgill and Zink. Sturgill signed up at Tom Ahl Family of Dealerships on Allentown Road in Lima. Zink signed up Rick’s 501 Motors on Lincoln Highway in Wapakoneta.
“Every time they drew an envelope I was sure it would be my name,” Sturgill said. “And every time I would cross another person’s name of the list and take a deep breath.
“I am not very lucky at these drawings so the reverse raffle must have helped,” he said.
Sturgill and Zink faced forward and glanced at each other several times as Masonbrink drew the envelope and tore the edge off so she could open it and read the name. The member of the Allen County’s Prosecutor’s Office now has $1,000 to spend.
“There are a whole lot of things I need to do with it,” Sturgill said with a smile. “I will just have to pick one.”
Zink held her head down just a little bit, peeking at the taller Sturgill when his name was read. Even then, she said she couldn’t believe it.
“I couldn’t believe I was still standing and then it came down to the last two of us,” Zink said. “It was very exciting.”
She revealed the money would likely go to purchase a new stove or another new appliance. She also may spoil her grandchildren with a special gift.
“I have been entering in all of the Dash for Cash contests,” said Zink, who would stop at participating businesses with her friend Waneta Helmlinger to put in their names.
“I have been here all four times. As the saying goes, ‘You can’t win if you don’t participate.’ ”
Helmlinger smiled and laughed with her friend.
“I still can’t believe I was still standing at the end,” Zink said again. “This was all very exciting.”