AVON, Ohio – The winner of the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway was announced on Thursday morning.
Joe Perry and his wife, Greta, from Barberton, won the estimated $400,000 house in the Red Tail Golf Community.
The drawing happened live during FOX 8 News in the Morning.
“I thought it was a big joke, you know,” said Joe. “I went about my business just as usual, just another day.”
The win is still sinking in for Joe, a tow truck driver in his 70s and his wife, in her 60s. She currently works as a home health aide and occasionally cleans homes.
“When I saw them draw the ticket and when they said the name, Joe Perry from Barberton, Ohio, I almost dropped dead,” said Greta.
The 3,300 square foot home was built by Buckingham Homes and was under construction for six months.
They Perrys said they bought a ticket because they only wanted to make a donation. They don’t plan to move into the home, which can be sold and they can take the money.
“It's a beautiful house, I mean, it’s gorgeous but it’s not my style; I like the little single bungalow, all on one floor,” said Joe. “For years, even when Danny Thomas was living, I’d send whatever I could - $10, $20 - donation to help out.”
The campaign was a huge success for St. Jude and FOX 8 News, according to Morgan Kuhn from the hospital.
"To pull a winner that doesn’t expect to win, who just wants to be a St. Jude donor, that’s what makes it so special. They’re doing it out of the goodness of their heart, so days like today are always really exciting for us here at St. Jude.”
Northeast Ohioans raised almost $910,000 to help the hospital that helps so many, which is why FOX 8 News was proud to be involved.
“This is such a wonderful cause because it helps children with cancer and even though the money goes to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, their research is shared around the world, so our hospitals, our children can benefit from it,” said FOX 8’s Managing Editor, Toni Garbo.
Thursday was also a big day for the winner of a car from Nick Abraham Auto Mall. A $10,000 gift certificate was also awarded to someone from Litehouse Pools and Spas and another $10,000 shopping spree was given to someone from La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries.
While the Perrys said it’s a dream come true, their neighbors are just happy they don’t plan to go anywhere.
“They are the best neighbors we probably could’ve ever asked for. They are like second - or third - sets of grandparents for my girls, they are just wonderful people,” said Misty Grether, who lives next door.
“I wasn't expecting that,” said Joe. “I’d been happy with a recliner chair myself, but this must’ve been meant to be.”
“You'll get your recliner now,” said Greta.