Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

For Largo's Bonnie Hess, Room-A-Day Giveaway comes in handy

Bonnie Hess, 63, of Largo, won a $25,000 sweepstakes from Kimberly-Clark. After being laid off in November, Hess said she’ll make good use of the money.


Bonnie Hess, 63, of Largo, won a $25,000 sweepstakes from Kimberly-Clark. After being laid off in November, Hess said she’ll make good use of the money.

In November, Bonnie Hess of Largo was laid off as a computer trainer with a national title company.

"Last June, the company laid off 70 percent of the work force nationwide, and I survived that," Hess said. "But then my position was cut, too."

Hess couldn't have imagined that a daytime television program was about to change her luck.

While watching television, Hess decided to enter Kimberly-Clark's Room-A-Day Giveaway on ABC's The View.

And she won.

"I never even thought I would possibly win. I figured there were hundreds of thousands of entries," Hess said. "I'm lucky in life, but I don't usually win things. We've played the lottery for years but never won."

Kimberly-Clark, known for products such as Kleenex, Cottonelle and Huggies, joined with celebrity designer Thom Filicia (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) to offer 16 prizes billed as $25,000 room makeovers. New prize winners were announced daily. Hess was winner No. 12.

The company decided to continue the $400,000 giveaway despite the economic downturn when many businesses have cut back on contests, said Stephanie Miller, a representative for Ketchum, the public relations firm for Kimberly-Clark.

Hess said her chances of winning were increased because she received an e-mail reminder to submit an entry each day.

"I rarely enter contests. It was more of a whim," Hess said. "I've been on the computer job hunting every day anyway. It didn't cost postage and was easy."

It couldn't have come at a better time.

Hess' husband, John, is semi-retired and Bonnie Hess carried the health insurance benefits for the family. The Kimberly-Clark representative assured Hess she can use the money in whatever way she wishes. Continuing her job search, she is relieved to now have breathing space.

Hess reports that friends and family are happy to know someone who has won a large contest.

"Everybody thinks there are no winners," she said. "The next question invariably is 'What are you going to do with the money?'"

Although she dreams of replacing the carpet in her two-bedroom condo and she wants an all-in-one printer-scanner to preserve family photos, until she finds a new job, Bonnie Hess has a succinct answer.

"Live on it!"

For Largo's Bonnie Hess, Room-A-Day Giveaway comes in handy 03/17/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 6:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police commander among 6 charged in deadly 1989 UK soccer deaths


    LONDON — British prosecutors charged six people Wednesday in the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster where 96 soccer fans were crushed to death.

    Police, stewards and supporters tend and care for wounded supporters on the pitch at Hillsborough Stadium, in Sheffield, England, on April 15, 1989. British prosecutors on Wednesday June 28, 2017, are set to announce whether they plan to lay charges in the deaths of 96 people in the Hillsborough stadium crush _ one of Britain's worst-ever sporting disasters. [Associated Press]
  2. Supreme Court term ended much different than it began


    BC-US—Supreme Court, 1st Ld-Writethru,899

    AP Photo WX109

    People visit the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 26, 2017, as justices issued their final rulings for the term, in Washington.  The Supreme Court began its term nine months ago with Merrick Garland nominated to the bench, Hillary Clinton favored to be the next president, and the court poised to be controlled by Democratic appointees for the first time in 50 years.  Things looked very different when the justices wrapped up their work this week. [Associated Press]
  3. SPC's Bill Law leaves with pride for the faculty, concern for students — and a story about hotdogs


    ST. PETERSBURG — The local community college had already made a name for itself when William Law Jr. first arrived on campus in the early 1980s as a vice president. Still, the school, then named St. Petersburg Junior College, was just a shadow of the sprawling state college it would later become.

    Bill Law, outgoing St. Petersburg College president, said he is proud of the college cultivating stronger relationships with the community.
  4. Forecast: Pattern of hot, humid air and inland, late-day showers continues across bay area


    Storms again will pop up midday around Tampa Bay, but are forecast to mostly stick inland.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day. [WTSP]
  5. UCF suspends fraternity amid sex assault and hazing claims (w/video)


    ORLANDO — A University of Central Florida fraternity has been suspended while the school investigates allegations of sexual assault and hazing.