CLEVELAND -- Dream home winner Lois Wells never expected to take home the grand prize when she bought two tickets. She wanted to help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital provide free medical treatment for children.
Wells, who lives in a mobile home in Dover, said she was stunned when she got the call that her name had been drawn from 20,000 tickets. She still feels like she’s dreaming.
“It’s going to change my life completely,” Wells said. “I sat down and started shaking. I just couldn't believe it because I never bought the ticket thinking I was really going to win.”
Wells alerted close relatives and friends, sending her sister Angie Lemasters a text message that she thought was a joke.
“I told them at work, ‘I'm outta here! My sister just won a house. I gotta go,’” Lemasters said. “No one deserves it more.”
Wells understands the importance of helping those in need. She has been the caretaker and home health aide for years, caring for someone with a disability.
“I always felt that God always blessed me if I needed to be, so I'm being blessed today,” she said.
Wells wins a four-bedroom, 4.5 bathroom custom-built home in Avon’s Red Tail Golf Community. Its value is estimated by the builder to be about $450,000.
“We created a home that was inviting, cozy and fun, and it's not a huge home: 2,500 square foot, but we added a lot of details that made it really, really nice,” said Jeff Crawford, President of builder Cleveland Custom Homes.
In February, Fox 8 viewers raised $2 million in just 2.5 hours to help provide treatment at St. Jude’s, which costs about $2.4 million per day to run. The hospital covers travel, treatment and living expenses for families of patients at the Memphis hospital.
“It goes to treatment, it goes to research, it just really helps the families in Memphis,” said Ashley Eddie, with St. Jude’s.
Wells said she planned to tour the home, which she had not yet seen. While she’s not yet sure if she’ll move to Avon, she said her siblings have talked about living together, and the dream home would have more than enough space to accommodate that.