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Enter once, win big – local gets new car

Lamar Harris says he doesn’t feel lucky, but his neighbors may disagree after seeing his new 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer. They can’t miss it – the car is bright blue with large logos – and he won it in a national online contest sponsored by HAM Radio Outlet as part of the 50th anniversary celebration.

Harris and his wife Nellie returned last week from a whirlwind trip to Milwaukee, Wis., where he took possession of the car and participated in several corporate events and photo shoots. The filming of the presentation was a long ordeal, they said, and Lamar said he now appreciates the work actors do after enduring several “takes” for a promotional video a crew shot on location.

The Harris’, who live on Good Hope Road in east Panola County, were notified of Lamar’s winning entry about two weeks ago. The company flew them to Milwaukee and provided an all expense paid trip as the national winner. Lamar said he didn’t recognize the number when he was called, and almost didn’t answer.

“To tell you the truth I had my eye on the second prize. That was what I was trying to win,” he said. “I saw the contest on their website and thought I might as well enter, but I sure didn’t expect to win.”

Company officials told the couple the  website received more than 111,000 entries for several prizes, mostly merchandise used by HAM Radio operators. Lamar said most of his HAM equipment is in storage and he had just started getting things unpacked and become active in HAM Radio use when he entered the contest.

“The thing the company people wanted to know as soon as I got there was why I only entered one time,” Harris said. “They couldn’t believe somebody just entered once but I did it that one time and didn’t think about it again. They said most people entered every day because the website would let you do that.”

When the phone call came, and Lamar finally answered, he couldn’t talk for a few minutes when learning the good news.

“I thought what in the world is wrong with him,” Nellie said. “Finally he said, ‘We won the car.’ I didn’t know what he was talking about but we finally got it all figured out and then off we went. We had a good time on the trip up there and back, but I told him I was glad when we got back. We’re headed to the courthouse now to get the tag and there’s no telling what that will cost.”

Lamar said the new car win is still sinking in, but he really likes the extra HAM equipment that came with the Grand Prize. After winning the Trailblazer, Lamar said he can purchase the second prize on his own, which he thought he would have to do anyway.

The car has a professional wrap that advertises the HAM Radio Outlet that will probably last a couple of years, Lamar was told. After that he said he isn’t sure whether to leave the bright blue or have the car repainted. “I will just wait and see, I still can’t believe I actually won it.”

Photo:  Nellie and Lamar Harris with the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer he won in an online drawing by HAM Radio Outlet stores. The company is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and gave away the car for a promotion. Mr. Harris has been a longtime HAM Radio operator.