SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - After months of anticipation, it all came down to the moment when the winner of the St. Jude Dream home was announced. This year David Steffe walked away with the grand prize. Though it was an incredible shock, the Steffees were sure it was indeed their unique family name that was called.
The family told WLOX even though they heard it more than once, it still took a little more convincing for the reality to sink in.
"I told the girl I didn't believe it. I asked her who she was. She said well we have a lady from WLOX here, and I asked who it was. She said Karen Abernathy and got her on the phone. I said having somebody on the phone that I know, I might believe it," Steffee said.
It may take a pinch or two for the family to fully believe what's happened, but what is undeniable is the success of this fundraiser.
Since January 25, a total of 6,357 $100 tickets were sold. In the end it was an incredible amount that will go towards the incredible work at the St. Jude Children's hospital.
"We just raised over half a million dollars for the hospital. We have over 1,000 patients from the Mississippi area. This goes towards their treatments. Getting them to and from the hospital. When they walk through our doors they don't pay a dime whether they can afford it or not," Marketing Director Katherine Fincher said..
For David Steffee and his family, owning the home has been a longtime dream, that they never really thought they would see fulfilled. That is, until Sunday.
"We couldn't afford a ticket last year, so we said we'd buy one this year. I saved up, $10 here, $20 there and pocketed it away. I saved up enough to buy 5 tickets. I said I'll win or loose with 5 and I told the lady at Santines, even if I don't win it's for a good cause so I feel good about spending the money. Dreams really do come true" Steffee said.