“Wow! Pinch Me!” exclaimed winner of $10,000 myPad grand prize


Tara St. Laurent firmly believes in what she terms “affirmative thinking.” Before the eventual winner of the myPad contest was announced, she kept repeating to herself, over and over again, “I’m going to win.”
“Thursday, I started thinking that and telling everyone I was going to win,” St. Laurent said, although she also knew that the winning entry 
wouldn’t be announced until the very last minute.
St. Laurent even vacuumed and tidied up on Sunday evening in anticipation of her expected good fortune.
In fact, she was so confident of success that the $10,000 in furniture from Dufresne, the co-sponsor of myPad, along with the Winnipeg Real Estate News and HOT 103, pictured on the contest website was saved on her computer under “My Prize.”
At 6:45 a.m. on Monday morning, November 14, a Dufresne Furniture truck pulled up to her Collegiate Street home. Meanwhile, staff from the WREN,  HOT 103 and Dufresne Furniture and Appliances waited outside her door. 
A call from the FM radio station to St. Laurent confirmed she had won. 
She dropped the phone without hanging up when she heard the rapping on her front door. 
“They’re here with my furniture!” she cried out, rushing to the door. “They’re at my home!”
“I can’t believe you’re here!” she shouted as those who had been waiting outside walked into her living room.
“Wow! Pinch me, please!” she exclaimed, barely able to contain her excitement.
While radio staff set up equipment for a live one-hour broadcast of the Ace Burpee Show from her home, St. Laurent began calling relatives and friends with the good news.
“I won,” she told one friend. “Now, you can come over and help me take my old furniture outside.”
“She is a very deserving winner,” said Jo-Anne Wood, the general manager of the WREN.
The single mother living on a disability pension won with her entry entitled, Stuck in the 1960s. In her entry, St. Laurent wrote about the woes of her life.  When her son Christopher was a toddler (he’s now 23 years old), she lost everything in a fire, lost her job and became 
a single parent. She rebounded and bought a home built in 1914, but four years ago was forced to go on disability. 
“The house still needs many repairs, but it’s home sweet home ...
“All extra funds must go to basic upkeep of the house, so new furniture or appliances are not possible,” she wrote in her entry.
“I really needed the furniture,” she told the WREN. “I nearly dropped into tears when you all came. I would never have been able to afford those things.”
The furniture she did possess was hand-me-downs from thrift stores or recycled from friends. 
The door on her stove fell off whenever it was opened, and it was so old that St. Laurent was unable to get parts to repair it, which was also the case with her dishwasher — a necessity due to her disabilities.
In her living room, a pink loveseat and sofa were the primary pieces of furniture.
“I got them for $50 because they’re pink,” she told the throng crammed into her far from spacious living room. 
The first items to be delivered by Dufresne were a loveseat and sofa. 
A new dining room set will replace the table held together by tape and quite visible screws.  
Other prize items are to follow after St. Laurent reorganizes her kitchen space to accommodate the new appliances in her home.
“I’ll be able to take the dishwasher out now and rip up the tile to fix the floor,” St. Laurent commented.
“This is so cool,” she added, bearing a wide grin, the result of her good fortune.
But then again, St. Laurent may have been destined to win. After all, there remains that one intangible — “affirmative thinking.”