Macon man who once lived in tent wins dream home giveaway

hgoodridge@macon.comApril 28, 2013 

Don Lance of Macon said something deep inside told him to do it.

It was about a month ago. He saw something on the news about the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway.

“I woke up and something inside (me) said, ‘You have to buy one of those tickets.’ If I win, fine. If I lose, we help these kids,” Lance said Sunday standing in the foyer of his new $350,000, 3,250-square-foot, five-bedroom, four-bathroom Warner Robins home.

It’s a good thing he obeyed that voice inside of him. Even more important, he made his wife obey the voice.

“I kinda blew him off,” said Hope Lance about when her husband told her to buy the $100 raffle ticket. Don Lance continued to tell his wife to purchase the ticket, but she didn’t do it until Thursday. “He said he was going to win and I had to buy it. ... I really wasn’t going to buy the ticket until he made me,” she said standing in the master bedroom of the new home.

The couple lives in a one-bedroom apartment on Orange Terrace in downtown Macon.

“My apartment is as big as the master bath and master bedroom combined,” Hope Lance said.

Don Lance, who installs audio equipment, was in Atlanta on Saturday. He returned home Sunday afternoon when he received a call from his boss saying someone heard his name on TV as the winner of the house.

Don and Hope Lance were driving on their way to pick up Don’s daughter when they got the news. “I made him pull over,” Hope Lance said. “We just sat their for 30 minutes. We couldn’t believe it.”

They’ve known each other since kindergarten and have lived in Macon all of their lives. “I don’t have a problem moving to Warner Robins,” Hope said.

Things have been going well for the couple, she said. Don struggles with drug addiction and is two years clean as of April 20. “He has a permanent job and he has a vehicle,” Hope Lance said.

That was not the case in the not-to-distant past when the couple was living in local motels struggling to survive. “At one time, we even lived in a tent,” Hope said.

The couple attends Fresh Fire Community Church on O’Hara Drive in Macon. Don credits the church’s Next Step Program with helping him fight addiction and get closer to God.

“It’s a long journey God put me on several years ago,” Don Lance said. “My faith had everything to do with me buying that ticket. My faith has everything to do with me being alive and talking about this right now. My faith is so strong in God. When my baby was born, we were advised not to have her. That’s why we named her Faith. I have a daughter named Faith, a wife named Hope and a house given to me by God.”

The house raffle sold out with 6,500 tickets raising more than $658,500 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

To contact writer Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.

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