Charlotte family who won the St. Jude Dream Home sees it in person for the first time

St. Jude Dream Home winners tour home

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte woman’s life changed forever when her name was called last Thursday night as the winner of this year’s St. Jude Dream Home in Waxhaw.

Tamiko Rhinehart, her husband Sean and their son Wesley got to see the home for the first time.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Tamiko, who said her heart was beating fast. “It’s just— I don’t even have words, I have no words.”

Tamiko said she didn’t look at pictures online of the 2,900 square foot home before stepping inside. The family toured the guest rooms and bathrooms first.

“Beautiful, beautiful, — oh my goodness,” said Tamiko as she took it all in. The family then made their way back to the main living room to see their outdoor living space.

“I love a front porch and a back porch, and it’s covered,” added Tamiko. “This is just unreal, I love it.”

Her first surprise came in the kitchen when she opened the surprise walk-in pantry. “Oh man! Oh man!” said Tamiko as she stepped inside.

Not long after, her husband and son claimed the upstairs bonus space.

“Claimed it— mine!” said Sean who said it would make a great man cave.

But the whole family was blown away by the Owners Suite, in particular- the bathroom.

“Look at this humongous shower! This is amazing!” said 9-year-old Wesley.

“I’m just going through, and I’m looking at it and everything and just not picturing that this is yours,” said Tamiko. “This is what you have, this is what you won and have been blessed with-- and I feel really blessed for me and my family- to have been chosen.”

The tour was a treat for builder Jeff Newton of Newton Custom Homes and Realty. “That’s kind of the crescendo to all this is to see that reaction when they first walk in, so that was awesome,” said Newton.

He adds that he’s thrilled for the Rhineharts and believe it or not, he’s also already thinking about next year’s St. Jude Dream Home.

“We’ve been doing this for six years continually,” said Newton. “So the completion of the house is just the next step to the next step of finding the next lot and designing the next plan. We’re already working on that.”

The Rhineharts have some time to decide if they’ll be officially moving in, but in the meantime they tell me they will not be stopping their donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They say they personally know a family whose daughter was treated at St. Jude and can’t imagine not giving to the hospital knowing that the donations are saving children’s lives.

More than 20,000 tickets were sold this July for the chance to win this year’s Dream Home which helped raised $2 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This is the 7th year WBTV has partnered with St. Jude for the Giveaway.

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