Woman wins free home in Lincoln

Jennifer Draa, who won a home in Lincoln in a contest.
Jennifer Draa, who won a home in Lincoln in a contest.

Everyone has a dream home. Usually, though, you have to pay for it.

Not Jennifer Draa.

On Monday, Draa, a state worker who lives in Citrus Heights with her 10-year-old son, prevailed over 638,000 other entrants across California and the United States to win the ultimate prize – a free house.

"It's the perfect price for us, that's for sure," said Draa, a dispatcher at the California Department of Fish and Game. The home will be built in Lincoln.

Draa, 46, won the new house – valued at $250,000 – from Arizona home builder Taylor Morrison Homes, part of the builder's summer InnoventionsDream Home promotion at Disneyland. The win includes a four-day stay at the Anaheim park and a $20,000 shopping spree at a home furnishings store.

Draa, who also once won free airfare to Hawaii, said Monday she ignored telephone calls for three days from a strange area code trying to deliver her the good news. When she finally picked it up, it wasn't a telemarketer, after all.

"I was excited," she said. "But it was hard to believe."

No more. On Monday, Draa picked out a 2,037-square-foot floor plan at Taylor Morrison's Northern California division headquarters in Folsom. The builder said it will begin construction of the house next month at its 134-home Courtyards community in Lincoln. Draa and her son should be able to move in sometime in February.

"It has three bedrooms and two stories," she said, describing a design with a courtyard and front porch. "It's really gorgeous."

The contest began in June and ran through Aug. 20. Participants could register online once a day, at Disneyland or at Taylor Morrison communities.

Draa, who owns a Citrus Heights condominium, was looking at homes and entered four times after touring Taylor Morrison projects. Then, returning from a Sierra foothills gold-panning festival, she stopped at the builder's Auburn development and received a special code allowing her to make 60 more entries.

"I don't know which one did it," she said.

Typically, winners of gifts must pay income taxes on the value of their prizes. Draa said she is talking with her tax adviser about the tax consequences of her win but is prepared to pay.

Taylor Morrison ranks fifth for new home sales in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties, according to Hanley Wood Market Intelligence of Costa Mesa. The builder has reported 207 single-family home sales from January through August and has a 5.4 percent market share.