Forsyth family wins $250,000 in Wells Fargo contest

FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – One Forsyth family is $250,000 richer thanks to a national contest.

After a tough summer, the Meeks family say the check will help get them back on the right track. 

It all started with a picture of the couples’ four-year-old son, Will. The picture shows Will surprised and in love with his own room at his new home. 

“It’s the first time he ever had a room for himself. It’s not guest a bedroom, it’s not furniture that my parents had in the 1970’s,” his dad, David Meeks said. 

His parents knew winning the “What Makes a Home” contest would be a long shot. Even then, they took a chance. 

“Melissa wrote a beautiful almost poem entry, a poetic entry, and we submitted it,” David said. 

He and his wife Melissa say they had a rocky summer. 

The family, who were in transition from Macon to Forsyth, have two homes on their hands. Repair bills started to pile up as they tried to rent out the Macon house. 

“Our renters wanted to be in by June 15, and so we had two weeks to get everything out and get up here,” David said. 

That’s where Wells Fargo stepped in. 

A group reviewed the Meeks’ entry and chose them as the first of three winners of the contest. 

“We created a contest where in 50 words or less, someone can describe for us what makes a house a home,” Arlene Maloney, the Senior Vice President with Wells Fargo’s Home Mortgage Division, said. 

Melissa says the $250,000 couldn’t have come at a better time. 

“It’s really hard to explain the difference it means to go from treading water financially to moving beyond that,” she said. 

For little Will, he’s especially excited. His parents say he’s looking forward to showing off his new home to all of his friends. 

“Every day I hear, can I have a play date? Can I have a play date? Can I have a play date,” Melissa said. 

The Meeks say the first thing they’ll do is give 10 percent of their winnings to the Fuller Center of Housing for families who need help getting a home. 

After that, they say they’re going to pay off their mortgage at one of their homes. 

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