Daily photo by Gary Lloyd|
Early bird gets the egg: Patricia Jahnke, who was up at 3 a.m. Tuesday to get the 11th clue in The Daily Easter egg hunt, displays the fruit of her labor: the famous $500 egg.
Fake egg doesn't stop Hartselle woman from claiming The Daily's real $500 prize
By Bayne Hughes
firstname.lastname@example.org · 340-2432
Patricia Jahnke began a premature celebration Tuesday morning after finding what she thought was The Daily's prize egg.
She rushed to The Decatur Daily office, only to learn the egg she found at Point Mallard was a fake. The counterfeit egg was pink, while a clue said the winning egg was purple.
She had been confident she was close to the prize, and she had met her newspaper carrier Tuesday at 3 a.m. to get another clue.
After the false alarm, and believing she was still on the right track in The Daily's annual Easter egg hunt, the disappointed but undaunted Hartselle resident rushed back to Point Mallard. She hoped that someone else wouldn't get there first.
This time she found success, and The Daily's egg, in a bin on the walking trail with views of the golf course and the Tennessee River. It took Jahnke 11 clues published over 11 days in The Daily's classifieds section.
"The clues were very accurate," she said. "The egg was right where they said it would be."
Jahnke said it took her until the sixth clue, "A re-enactment between the blue and gray happens here every Labor Day," to know that the egg was at Point Mallard.
Clue 10, "From where the egg is hidden, golfers can be seen, as they make their way to the green," then helped her zero in on the final spot.
"I could see the golf course through the trees, and it was hidden low at the base of the tree as one of the clues said," Jahnke said.
Now Jahnke is thankful Sonya Nugent and Hunter Prater found the first egg on the 14th day of the search March 23. If that egg had stayed hidden another four hours, it would have become a $1,000 egg and the only egg hidden this year.
Jahnke is a homemaker and mother of two. Her husband, Samuel, is a Chrysler technician. She said she plans to spend $100 on gardenias, roses and tulips for her garden. Her 8-year-old son, Wade, will get $20 for helping her in the search. The rest will go into savings.
"This helps me a lot," Jahnke said. "I'm a homemaker, so it's not often that I have extra money to spend. Now I've got extra money to spend, plus I can put some away."
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