She was randomly chosen from more than 5,000 people from eight different states. And now Elaine Keester from Scenic is the owner of a new, free home. Santa may not have had a hand in it, but Elaine does consider it a Christmas present.
It has about 1,400 square feet of living space, two bathrooms, and a patio; and now the new manufactured home is also a home for the holidays. "It's just about the best Christmas present that I've ever had," said new home winner Elaine Keester.
All because Elaine and her husband entered a drawing at Iseman Homes in Rapid City. "My husband said let's stop in and sign up it isn't going to cost us anything and who knows we might get lucky," said Elaine, and that's exactly what happened.
Their new house is completely free, and Iseman Homes is even hauling it out for her and putting the skirting on. "All we really have to do is pay the sales tax," said Elaine. "It's a pretty nice deal."
She says a new home has been a long time coming for her and her husband. "We've earned it, we've worked hard we've taken our thumps and bumps and it's about time we got something that was nice and that we didn't have to work our butts off for," said Elaine.
Their current home is more than 40 years old, and when a small tornado passed by about a year ago it took part of Elaine's roof with it. "It took a while before we could get her patched up but in the meantime we had rain and it caused a lot of damage to the ceiling in here and I know there's got to be mold," said Elaine.
She says she can't wait to move in, but she may have to wait a little bit longer. "Next week [we're going to] make arrangements depending on the weather of when to bring the trailer up," said Elaine.
To get to Elaine's house it's about 15 miles of thin, windy road. So this time of the year it would be pretty difficult to haul her new home up there, but this spring they are hoping to get it done. "I know it's real, but until it actually gets here it doesn't seem one hundred percent real," said Elaine.
So until then, she just counts her blessings.