JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Walter Donald of Fondren says he was out taking care of things on on Thursday when all his friends began blowing up his phone.
“My phone was just exploding. I didn’t know what happened. I watched the news clip. I thought someone was pranking me at first, when I saw you announce it live on TV I thought, ‘wow this is real!’” he tells us.
Donald bought just one ticket, but that’s all it takes to win the St. Jude Dream Home. On Friday, we looked around the 3,000 square foot house with Donald, who lives alone but has a large extended family. He can’t wait to bring them to the house for a backyard get-together.
But Thursday evening, before Donald had the chance to come to terms with the big win, he drove out to the home to meet builder Brian Burkley of Deep South Custom Homes, and his family.
“Brian and his family were here, they have done more than a couple of these houses now for St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, and I was floored by the layout and the finishes and all that kind of stuff. It was really overwhelming,” Donald says.
Donald informed us that he buys a ticket for the Dream Home every year, because just like so many others, he has a personal connection to the miracles that happen at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“I have a good friend from high school who basically lived at St. Jude his whole young adult life. He had cancer. So I’ve always supported St. Jude. That’s all I was trying to do is support their cause.,” he says. “Mississippi is the most giving state in America. We came through to donate to donate $1.2M to this amazing cause, St. Jude and the doctors, what they do there every day is just unbelievable.”