A North Dakota family will have their mortgage or rent paid for a year after winning the nationwide Home for the Holidays contest hosted by Nexstar Broadcasting.
A total of 134,000 people entered the contest nationwide, including 3,868 in southern Colorado.
Scott Fitzpatrick of Colorado Springs was this year’s local contest winner. Fitzpatrick won a $300 prize pack including gift cards to P.F. Chang’s, Manitou Springs businesses, Tick Tock Shop, Garden of the Gods Trading Post, Seabel’s Gourmet Shop and Boutique, and Texas Roadhouse.
Brenna Madrid of Minot, North Dakota was this year’s big winner.
“You can’t win unless you try,” Madrid said.
Madrid entered the contest through her local Nexstar station, KX News. She’s entered local Facebook giveaways before and even won a few items, but this is the biggest prize yet–a check for $15,000.
“I had no idea, honestly. I had no idea. I thought it was just local to North Dakota or maybe Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota. I had no idea it was national and I had no idea so many people could enter from so many news affiliates,” Madrid said.
The Madrids have lived in Minot for the last 10 years. She and her husband, a veteran from the National Guard, purchased their first home in 2011. But, a month later, heartbreak. It was lost among hundreds of others in the flood.
“Complete devastation,” Madrid said. “The only thing salvageable was the roof.”
Months later they moved back in, but the hardship and cost of renovating it were too much, and they had to step away. The family of six has been renting since 2012 and working towards purchasing their next dream home.
To have their rent paid for a year is a big step in turning them back into homeowners.
“To learn what they’ve gone through and to see the excitement she has and the joy that it may help them in their next step of finding that forever home, it makes you feel good and it makes you feel good to be part of a company that looks at things like this to help people in our local communities,” said General Manager Tammy Blumhagen.
“We’re going to build ourselves back up hopefully with this opportunity, we’re going to get back on our feet and it’s going to be great for our kids and our future,” said Madrid.