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MTV Town Still Ranchland A Year Later

January 3, 1988 GMT

SHAMROCK, Texas (AP) _ A year after the land was given away, the only heavy metal around the site of ″MTV Town″ carries the name John Deere, as in tractor.

An Alabama woman who wasn’t even an MTV viewer won the rock music video channel’s MTV Town contest, and she took money instead of the land.

But the mayor of Shamrock says the contest brought national attention to his Texas Panhandle community.

Last year, MTV selected 100 acres of ranchland 18 miles northwest of Shamrock to be given away as MTV Town in a promotion to ring in 1987. Contest prizes also included $100,000 in cash, a house full of stereo equipment, 1,000 compact discs, a Jeep, a satellite dish and a supply of candy and gum.

The winner, Loretta Lowery, 34, decided against founding a new community in the Texas Panhandle.

″We haven’t heard from them since we received the money,″ Mrs. Lowery said Friday.

MTV had an option on the land but let it revert to the owner, said Shamrock Mayor Doug Rives.

Mrs. Lowery, of Jackson, Ala., and her husband, Marshall, and two children never seriously considered moving to Texas, she said.

″Our home is here and our work is here, and we’d be a good distance away from the family,″ Mrs. Lowery said.

When she won the contest, she said, she didn’t even watch MTV at home because she did not have cable television service or a satellite system.

Mrs. Lowery, a contest enthusiast, said she learned of the MTV promotion through a publication called ″Contest News Letter.″

″We’re still entering everything we can get our hands on,″ she said.

Rives said nothing has been done to the land pegged as the MTV town site.

″It’s still ranchland,″ Rives said. ″There’s no improvements or anything on the property as far as I know.″

But the town of 2,000 benefited, Rivas said.

″We got a lot of publicity,″ he said. ″When I go to meetings and everything, I wear my green jacket and they really know where Shamrock is now.″