Two-minute shopping haul 'not bad for a grandma'

Pauletta May pants as she walks to the checkout aisle of the Grocery Outlet.

"Now I need to get my heart rate back to normal," she says.

Store co-owner David Cox bags up the groceries in her two shopping carts. Butter for desserts. Cereal for her grandchildren. Sirloin for her husband.

The cashier keeps ringing until she hits the total: $135.92.

Cox tells her she did well, and May agrees. She says the one thing she wishes that she could have gotten were cashews, instead of mixed nuts, for her cashew brittle, but she couldn't find any in time.

"I think she did good, I think she did good," said her husband, Don May, later Tuesday morning. "Not bad for a grandma."

Paulette May had won a two-minute shopping spree at the North Carson Street grocery store.

She said part of her success could have been her preparation. She went to the store Monday night with her 8-year-old grandson to scout out the grocery, frozen and deli items allowed in the contest.

Her grandson, Scotty, who actually won the drawing for the contest but was too young to do it, told her she should get a lot of toys. When she told him toys weren't allowed, he said to concentrate on candy.

It was part of the "plan of attack" they developed, she said. She was instructed to get boxes of Snickers, but only got a few because they were heavy. She threw a handful of candy bars into the cart near the end to make up for some of what she didn't get.

"I'm an old lady, you know," she said when she had finished.

This was the first shopping spree the Carson City store has awarded by itself. People could enter if they had bought food from the store for a recent Friends In Service Helping (FISH) food drive.

"If people are helping FISH, I want to help them," Cox said.

He said he would have helped May, but she didn't look like she needed it. She was intense as she trotted up and down the aisles and around to the front of the store.

An employee told her how much time she had left throughout the spree, interrupting the Christmas music played over the intercom.

May said also that she had a good feel of the store because she's been shopping there for more than 30 years.

Though she was the store expert and did all the shopping herself, she did allow her husband to help her take the groceries to their car.

"He's here to carry the loot," she said.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.

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