No, this is not a scene from Leave it to Beaver, or The Brady Bunch. This is
the family of Helene Hadsell, enjoying their new home in 1969. The 4300 sq
ft home was built in Irving, Texas at an estimated cost of $50,000, which
back then was a lot of house. What makes this family and their new home so
interesting, is they won it.
In the New York World's Fair of 1964, the Formica Corporation sponsored a
nationwide contest, with the grand prize being a copy of the World's Fair
Home, plus the lot, built anywhere in the US the winner chooses. Of course,
out of 1.5 Million entries, Helene and Pat Hadsell won.
*"For God's sake, act surprised!"*
What makes this story rather unusual -- besides the fact they won -- is that
she KNEW she was going to win. Without a doubt. In fact, she had her husband
take the day off work, because 'she knew' the Formica People were coming
over that day to tell them they had won. She told her husband, "For God's
sake, act surprised!"
The phone did ring later that day, the Vice President for the company was
waiting for Mr. Hadsell to get home from work, because he had some
'interesting news' for them. Imagine his surprise when Helene told him that
her husband was already home. "Oh yes, he's here, he took the day off. "
Soon after the representatives arrived, and informed the lucky couple they
had indeed won the home, they were even more surprised when the Hadsells
presented them with the plans for their new home. "Uh...you have plans?" the
VP asked. "Oh yes" said Helene, "We been planning a new home". She just
left out the part where they were expecting Formica to pay for it.
You might say that Helene was very lucky to win that home. But -- you would
be mistaken -- in that 'luck' had nothing to do with it. Like I said, Helene
KNEW she was going to win. She always wins. Every contest she has entered -
she has won.
She has won cars, furniture, stereos, musical instruments, clothing,
groceries, trips to Europe... Whenever Helene sees something that she wants,
she finds a contest that is giving that particular something away, and she
wins it. She told her husband that she wanted to be sitting in a sidewalk
cafe, in Paris, sipping a glass of wine on her 40th birthday. Several months
before her birthday she entered a contest sponsored by a cola company,
"Where in the World do you Want to Go, and Why?" Helene won...... 3rd prize,
a Hammond Organ. Nice, but not what she wanted.
Not giving up, she entered another contest sponsored by a Men's Sportsware
Company giving away trips to Europe. This time she entered twice, her entry
was for Paris, and her husband's entry was for Venice. While she waited, her
and her husband went out and got their shots and passports. Talk about
belief! One month before her birthday, she won the trip to Venice, with a
stopover in Paris.
*"You can have anything you want, provided you know what you want."*
Helene's lucky streak began in 1958 while she was reading "The Power of
Positive Thinking", by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. She became excited when she
read, "You can have anything you want, provided you know what you want".
Her husband was reading a popular fishing magazine and she excitedly told
him, "We can have whatever we want!" He replied while pointing to the
magazine, "Fine, I'd like this outboard motor..." She entered a contest and
Today, Helene is 84yrs old and is still as feisty as ever. Her list of
personal friends include the late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, the late Dr.
Joseph Murphy (The Power of Your Subconscious Mind), the late Jose Silva
(Silva Mind Control), and even Joe Vitale from the blockbuster movie, The
*How to Win Contests Like a Pro
According to Helene, the key is a well know, although mysterious concept in
Positive Thinking: Picture the thing you desire as having already happened
or taken place.
"They practically hit you over the head with it in all the motivational and
inspirational books", Helene says, "and still not that many people actually
do it. See clearly in your mind how the Rose Bowl Parade is going to look on
that new color TV. Savor the sizzle of that Roast as you take it out of that
shiny new microwave oven."
Her formula is simple, and catchy.
- *Select It (know what you want) *
- *Project It (see it as already happened) *
- *Expect It (believe it is already yours) *
- *Collect It. *
It seems to have worked for Helene, who is now the author of several books, "Contesting: The Name it and Claim It Game", and "Confessions of an 83yr Old Sage". Her complete training program can be found at The Winning