Burger Chain’s $1 Million Eludes Car Dweller

Times Staff Writer

A Santa Ana woman who says she lives out of the back of a friend’s Pinto and panhandles for a living said Saturday she was not disappointed that she was not the winner of the $1-million grand prize in the McDonald’s sweepstakes.

“I didn’t have it before, so nothing has changed,” said Gaye Duron, 42.

Duron said last week she had hoped to win the prize money, paid at the rate of $33,333.33 a year for 30 years, so that she could buy a house. Her home was repossessed and sold last year because she was ill and couldn’t make the payments.

Duron said she will not cash in the $2,000 in McDonald’s stock she won as one of 30 finalists in the contest.


“We’re still living in an abandoned house in Anaheim and we still need a water pump for the Pinto, but that’s not drastic enough to sell it,” she said. “The man from ABC (which televised the drawing Saturday night) thought there would be a lot of people who would turn up to help me, and we’ll see if someone does.”

Duron said a woman from Bally Fitness Co. in Irvine had already taken up a collection at the office and given her $53 cash. “We didn’t have to panhandle for the last 24 hours,” she said. “It keeps us off the street.”

Rancho Palos Verdes resident Barbara Lucky, 36, was the winner of the sweepstakes. Her name was drawn by Lakers star Kurt Rambis in a televised special marking the 30th anniversary of the McDonald’s restaurants.