BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - After months of tours and promotions, the St. Jude Dream Home is now a reality. Teresa Teague's name was pulled Sunday during a live, special drawing in the WLOX studio.
Just moments after the announcement, she was at the front door in the rain.
"I can't breathe," Teague said. "I'm so excited. I just told my husband today, I said, 'If we win this house, we're going to have to move.'"
Anna Hensgens, regional development representative with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, said it was a record response time.
"She literally got here the quickest time we've ever had a dream home winner get to the house," said Hensgens.
The reason? Her current home is about 300 yards away.
"I had to make sure she wouldn't trip or anything, so I had to kind of escort her...get her out of the street," said her daughter, Caitlyn Smith.
Teague couldn't believe the call.
"I thought, well, I won a shopping spree. She says, 'You won the dream home.' Then, my heart just stopped beating. I couldn't catch my breath. I was like, 'Oh, my God. I can't believe it," Teague exclaimed.
Shee had been unable to tour the $450,000 home, built by Elliot Homes, before the drawing. So, that's what she did for a long time.
Winning the house comes at a good time. Her father recently died and she was just diagnosed with skin cancer.
"It's just been an awful year for us," Teague said. "We've had just one thing after another happen, so it's unbelievable that something this good happened after such a terrible year. I'm getting teared up, and then, just for donating...I just can't believe for doing something for somebody else, this happens."
The Dream Home Giveaway sold all 6,750 tickets and raised more than $676,000.
This is the 23rd anniversary of the program and the ninth house to be built in this market.