Faced with the decision to either overhaul their aging Kenworth, which had more than 2 million miles on it, or possibly retire from trucking, Clarence and Betty Patterson say the news that Clarence was among five finalists to win a new truck couldn’t have come at a better time.
The Pattersons are OOIDA life members and team drivers from Dayton, OH, who are leased on to Landstar, headquartered in Jacksonville, FL.
When Clarence Patterson received the call that he was a finalist, he was told that one winner would receive a 2013 Peterbilt 386 and the other four finalists would receive a plane ticket home and $500.
However, he told his wife that losing wasn’t an option.
“I told Betty I am not planning on flying home. I am planning on driving me a truck home,” he said.
When he arrived at the Landstar New Truck Giveaway in Jacksonville, FL, in January, Clarence said there were five boxes labeled A through E on a long table. In his mind, he already had picked out the winning box. He just had to have his number drawn first so he could have first pick.
“We went alphabetically. Two guys went up before me and the first guy drew a five, so he had to go last. Then the second guy got number four. Then it was my turn, and I came out of there with the number one ball,” he said. “Everybody was asking me which box I was going to pick, and I said ‘C.’ And they were like – oh, for Clarence, huh? I said no, not for Clarence, for Christ.”
Click here for the video of Clarence lifting his box to find the winning set of keys.
“I have never won anything like this; I was speechless,” Clarence said. “All I know how to get things done in my life is through blood, sweat and tears.”
The only bittersweet moment was when the Pattersons parked their old ’97 Kenworth. They have had their new Peterbilt for about four months and have put about 20,000 miles on it already.
“My wife and I were married 14 years ago and we lived for 14 years in that Kenworth,” he said. “It was hard to let that old gal go, but we are on cloud nine.”
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