Detroit Pistons, Hunter Pasteur Homes And Channel 955 Announce “Giving Away The House” Contest
“This is the first time to our knowledge that a professional sports team has awarded a brand new home as a symbolic thank you to the fans,” said Tom Wilson, president and CEO of the Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment. “Our fans are the hardest-working in all of sports, and we feel this is a unique way to involve them in the celebration of 50 wonderful years in Detroit.”
To participate in this unprecedented contest, Pistons fans can register during the first half of each home game on the concourse at section 104 of The Palace of Auburn Hills, beginning on opening night (November 4). Fans will also have the ability to register by listening to Channel 955’s Mojo In The Morning from 5-10 a.m. weekdays. One lucky fan from each Pistons’ home game, 40 winners total, will receive a lucky key. Ten additional winners will be awarded lucky keys by listening to Mojo in the Morning on Channel 955 (or log on at Channel955.com). Of the 50 semi-finalist winners with lucky keys, one key will open the door to a brand new home. All fans registering for the contest must be 18 years or older to enter and must register prior to each drawing at each Pistons’ home game.
The winning fan will have the opportunity to choose a home in either Ypsilanti (BelleMeade) or Clarkston (Cheshire Park).
Randy Wertheimer, President of Hunter Pasteur Homes and a long-time Pistons' season ticket holder said: "Realizing how tough the economy, and specifically the real estate business is today, we thought this was an ideal opportunity. Teaming up with the Pistons' and Channel 955 will give fans all season long the chance to win their dream home. On April 15 of next year, one lucky fan will have a life changing experience, and for that all of us are excited."
Nov. 9 vs. L.A. Clippers
Key Winner: Marcus Baggs
Why He Signed Up: Marcus and his fiancee, Peggy Fornee, signed up so they could become new homeowners together.
Video: Click here to watch
Nov. 21 vs. Cavs
Key Winner: Aiesha Kidd
Seat: Section 227, Row 10, Seat 2
Occupation: Sales Rep for Eastown Distributors
Why She Was At The Game: Daughter Kenyatta performed with the Thurston Eagles Step Team on The Palace floor before the game.
Why She Says She Needs A House: “My family is getting bigger and I need a house.”
Picture (L-R): Brother-in-law, Mike; seven-year-old son, Tamone; Aiesha; Aiesha’s mother, “Baby Gee.” Aeisha also wanted to give a shout out to her sister, Starla Edison, and neice, also named Baby Gee.
Dec. 9 vs. Charlotte
Key Winner: Hazim Ajja
Seat: Section 114, Row R, Seat 13
Occupation: Produce Manager at a grocery store
Why he went to the game ... and why he thinks he can win: Hazim feels like destiny chose him to be at Sunday's game and win the ninth key handed out this season. His brother, Wasif, also had tickets to Friday's game, but Hazim chose the Bobcats game instead. Once at The Palace, he felt compelled to enter the contest for the second time, even though he just purchased a new home in Ferndale. This only makes his destiny more clear. "I'm going to win this," he said. "I know."
Jan. 15 vs. Raptors
Key Winner: Dorothy Kar
Seat: Section 213, Row 10, Seat 2
About Dorothy: Dorothy comes to The Palace frequently with her sister, Aline, who has been a Pistons’ season-ticket holder for nearly 20 years, but had not entered the “Giving Away the House” contest until her lucky night. Dorothy lives with her husband, Gregory, in the same Taylor, Mich., home they’ve been in the past four decades, so she’s not quite sure what she’d do if the key fits. Both Dorothy and Gregory are retired, so perhaps she can go into real estate!
Why She Deserves the House: Aline says Dorothy deserves it because “she’s a good sister.” Drew, a 20s-something Raptors fan who sat next to the Kar sisters, offered another reason. “She’s a die-hard fan,” he said. “She’s been telling me so many facts about the Pistons, now I’m kind of cheering for both teams.”
Jan. 25 vs. Orlando
Key Winner: Jim Cash
Seat: Section 106, Row G, Seat 10
Birthday Surprise: Crew Member Jim Cash, who was celebrating his 32nd birthday during the Pistons’ win over the Magic, thought it might be his lucky (birth)day when he entered the “Giving Away The House” contest for the second time this season. He was right. The contest has turned out to be pretty convenient for Jim, who already is trying to sell his current residence in Brighton and is looking for a new one with more space. A service advisor for the Bill Brown Ford dealership in Livonia, Jim wouldn’t mind shaving a few minutes off his commute with a brand-new pad in Ypsilanti!
Jan. 31 vs. Lakers
Key Winner: Adam Russ
Seat: Section 206, Row 20, Seat 24
So Cal Bound: From the very top row of The Palace, Adam took center stage by becoming the 20th key winner this season. Adam lucked out just coming to his sixth game of the season, getting some of the last tickets available for the Lakers. Coincidentally, the 27-year-old Troy native might be seeing more of Kobe Bryant soon, as he’s preparing to attend the University of Southern California to study computer animation and special effects. Adam said if he did win the house, he wouldn’t have to leave USC - his brother, Jay, whom he shares a condo with in Rochester, could take care of the house until he returns.
Feb. 3 vs. Mavericks
Key Winner: Brett Larner
Seat: VIP E, Row 3, Seat 2
Hard Work Pays Off: A bartender at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, Brett drove two hours to The Palace for his 12th Pistons game of the season. Brett has been a Crew Member for five seasons, and hopes that kind of dedication will pay off by winning the “Giving Away The House” contest, which he had entered for the first time. If he does win it all, Brett would choose to live in Clarkston, near some of his family.
Feb. 6 vs. Heat
Key Winner: Theresa Vahl
Seat: Section 107B, Row BBB, Seat 13
No Shaq … but maybe a house: A two-year Crew Member with her husband, Theresa was disappointed to learn Miami had traded Shaquille O’Neal before the Pistons and Heat tipped off . But that frown turned upside down when Theresa became the 22nd key winner of the season. A loyal Pistons fan, Theresa, who lives in Brighton, wouldn’t mind moving to Clarkston because it would mean she’s closer to The Palace.
Mar. 18 vs. Nuggets
Key Winner: Ben Vinegar
Seat: Section 214, Row 7, Seat 2
Ready for a change of scenery: Phyllis Ross and her Uncle Ben have entered the “Giving the Away the House” contest at every game they’ve been to this season, their third as Crew Members. They finally got their key with less than 10 home games left in the season. Ben, a retired assembly line worker for General Motors, has lived at his house in Pontiac for 40 years. But he says there’s nothing keeping him there and he can’t wait to move out to a new house. A little extra space, “that would be nice,” he said.