Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • N.Dakota woman wins $500,000 house in contest

  • FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Kindred woman has won a new $500,000 home in a promotional contest held in Fargo.

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  • FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Kindred woman has won a new $500,000 home in a promotional contest held in Fargo.
    Michele Gilbertson, 49, picked the winning key Saturday at Scheels Arena to claim the home from Great Plains Integrated Marketing and Designer Homes of Fargo-Moorhead.
    Gilbertson was one of 25 people randomly drawn from a field of 800 finalists to choose a numbered key from a box. With the winning key in hand, she opened a door on stage and stepped through it to wild applause from the estimated 2,500 people gathered in the hockey arena.
    "I put the key in, and I put it to one side, and it didn't really feel like it was going to go, and then I just turned it to the other side, and there it was," she said, adding she felt like she "stepped into a different world. It was amazing. I'm so thankful."
    Gilbertson told The Forum that the lucky draw for the West Fargo home will allow her family to move out of their roughly 90-year-old farmhouse, which she says is "getting ready to tumble down."
    Gilbertson is a paraprofessional in a school, while her husband, Art, works for Essentia Health. They also provide care for disabled people as part-time jobs.
    Art Gilbertson said the family's 18-acre farmstead is now for sale.
    "It means my kids are going to go to college and we'll have a nice place to live, and I'm just, I'm so thankful. I'm so blessed by this," Michele Gilbertson said.
    The couple said it will be hard to leave Kindred but they look forward to moving in to the new two-story, 2,843-square-foot home.
    They've lived almost 20 years in their current one, which is actually two homes they patched together a few years ago to make more room for their three sons.
    The contest, in the works for more than a year, was a chance for contractors and sponsors to showcase their products and services and give back to the community they serve, said Robert Leslie, president and owner of Designer Homes.
    Because of all the sponsor support, the $500,000 home cost Designer Homes about $100,000 to build, he said.
    Leslie said he hopes to hold a similar contest every two to three years.

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