Celebrity spokesman Pat Sajak supports the raffle, which raises funds for children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities in Illinois. | Supplied photo
Updated: May 14, 2014 6:11AM
A Dolton woman was among the lucky winners of a Chicago Dream House Raffle early bird drawing, officials at The Hope Institute for Children and Families recently announced.
Sharon Houston won the choice of either $5,000 cash or a trip to Prague, Czech Republic or Vienna, Austria, according to a press release from the organization. Runner-up Sam Chadda, of Lombard, got to choose between $5,000 cash and a trip to either Maui, Hawaii; or Jamaica.
Both winners bought their $150 raffle tickets in time for the second early bird drawing and became eligible for subsequent drawings, as well as the grand prize of a $1.6 million Chicago dream home or $1.3 million in cash, the release said.
The event raises funds for children with autism spectrum disorder and developmental disabilities, the release said.
“I was familiar with Hope — my sorority supports autism awareness and community service,” Houston said in the release. “I saw the commercial with (‘Wheel of Fortune’ host) Pat Sajak and was reminded to buy my ticket. When I saw my name in the email that announced the winners, I thought, ‘Wait a minute — that’s me.’ ”
Houston said she plans to put her winnings toward her upcoming wedding, the release said.
To be entered into the next early bird drawing for $5,000 or the choice of trips to luxury destinations, tickets must be bought by April 18, the release said. Visit www.chicagoraffle.com to buy tickets or view a complete list of prizes and previous winners.
The raffle is the largest fundraising initiative for The Hope Institute for Children and Families, the release said. Proceeds will provide educational, residential and health care services to more than 23,000 Illinois children and their families each year, it said.
For the second straight year, Sajak, the Chicago Dream House Raffle celebrity spokesperson, is lending his support for the raffle and was to appear in television advertisements and direct mail pieces.
More than 550 prizes will be awarded, making the odds of winning a prize 1 in 90, the release said.
The grand prize is a luxurious, 4,200-square-foot brand-new brownstone in Chicago, the release said. The five-bedroom home includes 3.5 baths, a gourmet kitchen, two master suites, custom millwork, hardwood floors throughout and two spacious decks, it said.
The Hope Institute will sell up to 50,000 tickets for the Chicago Dream House Raffle. The deadline to buy tickets for the grand prize drawing is May 23, and the drawing will be held on June 7, the release said.
Any individual who buys two or more tickets is automatically entered into a multiticket drawing for a chance to win a Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 Roadster or $50,000 cash. If ticket holders refer a friend to buy a ticket, they will be included in the Refer-a-Friend drawing and given the chance to win $10,000 cash or a pair of Vespa Scooters, the release said.
Any individual who buys a ticket and also bought a ticket in either the Hope Institute’s 2013 Dream House Raffle or 2011 Dream House Raffle will receive an entry into the Loyalty Drawing for a chance to win a trip to Fiji or $15,000 in cash, the release said.
To enter the raffle, call (800) 697-7734 or visit www.chicagoraffle.com and register online. Forms can be mailed to The Hope Institute, 15 East Hazel Dell Lane, Springfield, IL 62712.
Entrants may also print online ticket forms and fax them to (888) 418-6608.
Ticket buyers must be at least 18, have U.S. residency and meet other requirements in the rules and regulations as specified at www.chicagoraffle.com/rules, the release said.
For more information about The Hope Institute for Children and Families, visit www.thehopeinstitute.us/ or call (217) 585-5437.