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Her $17,500 prize turns into 1963 lemon

Mar 18, 2003 5:40 AM

Debbie Shield, a seamstress from Diagonal, Iowa, thought she had won a treasure when her name was drawn at a nearby casino offering a classic car as its top prize. But, she soon had second thoughts about the value of her prize. She called it a lemon.

The prize was a shiny red 1963 Chevrolet Nova Super Sport convertible that the Lakeside Casino Resort had acquired from a local car dealer for $17,500. But, Debbie’s joy turned to distress when she had trouble starting the car and a nearby dealer told her the car, described as having chipped paint and rust bubbling through the surface, was probably worth only about $3,700.

Shield was devastated since she already had been told that her state and federal tax liability on the car would run somewhere between $6,000 and $8,000.

She screamed so loud at the casino operators that she was banned from the place for the next 90 days. All she wanted, she said, "was a car worth $18,000 like I was supposed to have won."

Meanwhile, the car dealer disputed the value estimate Shield had received, and insisted the car’s vehicle was between $17,000 and $22,000. He said he was prepared to negotiate a buyback of the vehicle or even make mechanical repairs if she wanted to keep it.

No decision was forthcoming as Shield reviewed her options while cooling her heels (mouth ?) outside the casino.