America Watches West Virginia Auditor Win $2 Million Grand Prize Package During Live HGTV Dream Home Giveaway
When 56-year-old Donald P. Cook, an auditor from Alum Creek, W. Va., looked at his wife, Myrna, he saw red -- the red dress that inspired him to choose the red ball that held the key to the 2006 HGTV Dream Home at Grey Rock at Lake Lure, N.C. During HGTV Dream Home Giveaway, a live television special that aired on Saturday, April 29, 2006 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, Cook, one of three finalists in the largest consumer promotion in cable television history, won the 10th anniversary grand-prize package with a retail value of more than $2 million. In addition to the fully furnished, custom-built home that features more than 3,000 square feet of flooring from Lumber Liquidators, the grand prize package includes a matching Doggy Dream Home, an all-new 2007 GMC Yukon and a $250,000 cash prize from LendingTree.com.
The other two finalists, 29-year-old Julie Free of Blackwell, Okla., and 60-year-old Deanna Bains of Fairport, N.Y., each walked away $100,000 richer, while 20 viewers won from $10,000 to $100,000 in cash prizes.
"In a few years I′ll remember how it felt," said Cook, referring to the moment he unlocked the door, "but right now I know I feel fantastic!"
Myrna, her sister, Joy and her niece, Valorie, raced to Donald′s side to hug him and help him celebrate his new fortune. "I can′t believe it!" said an excited Myrna, as she kissed him. "I can't believe we really won."
After the live television special, Donald and his family toured the house with co-hosts Mark L. Walberg and Joan Steffend as part of a live 10-minute broadband show on HGTV.com. Cook also received a key to the all-new 2007 GMC Yukon and was presented with the $250,000 check from LendingTree.com. Although he has muscular dystrophy and is in a wheelchair, Cook won′t have any trouble navigating his new home or getting in and out of his new vehicle because both will be upgraded to accommodate his needs. He also received an additional surprise gift from HGTV -- a state-of-the-art telescope that he once mentioned would be his first purchase if he won the home.
"We wanted to do something extraordinary for our 10th Anniversary," said Judy Girard, president, HGTV. "The live broadcast was a compelling way for our viewers to share in the drama and excitement of this giveaway. And we were also able to engage online users with post-show extras on HGTV.com."