MOULTRIE — Overheard recently: A Northern fairy tale begins “Once upon a time …,” but a Southern fairy tale begins “Y’all ain’t gonna believe this …”
Well, y’all ain’t gonna believe this … so Hank Williams sent The Observer pictures to back it up.
Now, first off, this isn’t Hank Williams, the singer-songwriter responsible for “Lovesick Blues” and “Kaw-Liga,” nor is it his son or grandson, both of whom share his name and are also noted musicians.
This Hank Williams grew up in Colquitt County, graduated from Norman Park High School and now lives in the Atlanta area, where he’s been on a winning streak with the local radio stations, and he credits a lucky charm he received from a big-name actor several years ago.
Back in 2001, Williams, his wife and mother were part of The Williams Family in an episode of “Family Feud.” While they were in California to tape that show, his mother, Corene Williams of Ellenton, got a part as an extra on the television comedy “Spin City,” and when he and his wife took her there, they got chosen to be extras too.
“My wife handed [Charlie Sheen] a ‘I have voted’ sticker,” Williams said.
A prop in the episode was a fortune cookie. Williams said he and his wife were sitting at a table with some of the actors between takes, and Sheen was playing with the fortune cookie. They told him about going the following day to tape “Family Feud,” and he tapped on the table, told them to go win it, and gave them the fortune cookie for luck.
The next day, the Williams family won $20,000.
Williams said he was living in Knoxville, Tenn., at the time. The fortune cookie came home with him and was packed away. In 2013, his family moved from Knoxville to the Atlanta area, and when he found the fortune cookie during the move, he placed it on a shelf as a memento.
“Since then I have won 32 times on the radio,” he said.
Sometimes, he said, all he had to do was be the correct caller, but even that can be a challenge when a sizable chunk of metro Atlanta is trying to do the same thing. Other times he had to answer trivia questions.
“On 106.7 talk radio, I sang a portion of a Hank Williams song for tickets to see the group Chicago,” he said.
He said he’s won tickets to several concerts. His first win after pulling out the fortune cookie was front-row tickets to a Lynyrd Skynyrd show. He’s also won a $300 pearl necklace, three separate lunches and a Wood Fire Grill. He called in to qualify for a trip to hear Pearl Jam in Rome, but the luck wasn’t strong enough to win the drawing for the prize itself.
Atlanta TV station 11Alive got wind of Williams’ winning streak and sent a crew to interview him for a short feature. The producer encouraged him to call into a radio show while their cameras were rolling to see if he could win on the air. At 8:10 a.m., he got through and won tickets to see comedians Cheech and Chong … but the station had a policy that one person couldn’t win more than once in a month and Williams had already won from them recently, so he was disqualified. Thirty minutes later, on another radio station, Williams won tickets to the movie “Jupiter Ascending” and qualified to win a trip to Los Angeles for the premiere of another movie.
The story ran on 11 Alive Friday and was posted to the station’s website that morning. Click here to see their coverage.
“My sister, who lives in Loganville, can’t win at all,” Williams said. “… I’m not superstitious [but] this just doesn’t happen to everybody. There’s got to be something to it.”