Fact Finders: What do Dream Home winners do after getting the big prize? (2024)

What percentage of winners live in these dream homes?

By Paul Adler

Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 8:22 PM CST

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Tickets for the 2023 St. Jude Dream Home will go on sale in April. The home will be built again in Republic. One of our viewers wants to know, ‘What percentage of winners take possession of and live in these dream homes?’

Hundreds of people reserved a $100 ticket for the 2022 home. The home was valued at $680,000.

St. Jude tells you upfront that the home’s taxes are the winner’s responsibility. This is something that the IRS requires for prizes valued at greater than $5,000.

“Winners are encouraged to consult a tax professional,” says Scott Ellis with the Children’s Research Hospital. “Many factors come into a winner’s choice to move into or sell the home, which ultimately comes down to their personal preference. Regardless, winning the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway house can be life-changing for both ticket buyers and the kids of St. Jude.”

“You must assess if you will have enough cash to pay the taxes.” wrote Attorney Catherine Moore of Kirkland, Woods, and Martinsen. “If not, you need to consider the ways you can generate cash to pay the taxes. Some options include; selling your current home or other assets, selling the Dream Home, or taking out a loan. It will be important for you to consult your CPA, financial advisor, and lawyer for specific advice about your specific situation.”

St. Jude told us around 70% of the winners turn around and sell their homes for a profit. The other 30% will move in. The spokesperson tells us this is the average from the last three years.

Returning to the viewer’s question, What percentage of winners live in these dream homes? In the last three years, it’s about 30%. We can also say it’s an honor to win. You help children when you participate. But winning does come with tax consequences.

Attorney Catherine Moore had a detailed response for things winners should consider. This is the full text of her thoughts:

First, congratulations to the winner of Dream Home!

Do you have to pay taxes on the Dream Home? Can you shield yourself in any way?

As the winner of the Dream Home, you will be subject to several different types of taxes (e.g., federal income tax, state income tax, and real estate taxes). The Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of the Dream Home (and its furnishings if included with the prize) is considered income for the year in which you win the Dream Home. The organization transferring the Dream Home to the winner will send the winner a 1099 for the winnings. Because the ARV will be included in your income, your tax bracket will change for the year. If you accept the prize, there really is no way to shield yourself from the income tax.

If not, what’s the best plan of action? Do you take out a mortgage to pay the taxes? Should you sell the home?

While the tax will not be due immediately, you need to be aware that both your income and tax bracket will change for the year of the winnings, and the taxes will be due by April 15th of the following year. You must assess if you have enough cash to pay the taxes when due. If not, you need to consider ways in which you can generate cash to pay the taxes. Some options include: selling your current home or other assets, selling the Dream Home, or taking out a loan. If you choose to sell the Dream Home, you would want the sale to close prior to the tax deadline so that you have the cash to pay the tax. Again, you need to consider the tax and financial impact of all of these choices. It will be important for you to consult your CPA, financial advisor, and lawyer for specific advice about your specific situation.

Should you consider not taking possession?

Once you consider the financial and tax implications of winning the Dream Home, you could choose to decline the prize. However, if you accept the prize but never move into the Dream Home, you will still have to include the ARV as income. Before deciding, you should consult your CPA, financial advisor, and lawyer for specific advice about your situation.

Winning the Dream Home should be a blessing for you and your family, and with proper planning and awareness, it can be!

If you want us to investigate something, email us at factfinders@ky3.com.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

Copyright 2023 KY3. All rights reserved.

Fact Finders: What do Dream Home winners do after getting the big prize? (2024)

FAQs

Can you sell an HGTV Dream Home after winning? ›

If you win the 2024 HGTV Dream Home on Anastasia Island, Florida, near St. Augustine, you can sell the home. If you win the 2024 HGTV Smart Home in Atlanta, Georgia, you can take the cash option, and the house would likely be put on the market. Several past winners of HGTV's popular sweepstakes contests have done that.

What happens to HgTV Dream Home winners? ›

Do winners keep the Dream Home? The contest rules state: "In lieu of taking title to the HGTV Dream Home 2024 (and the contents of the HGTV Dream Home 2024), the grand prize winner will have the option of receiving $650,000 in cash (the "cash option").

What happens if you win a dream home? ›

You'll be responsible for all federal, state and local taxes. You'll be issued a 1099 tax form for the actual value of the grand prize. You'll have to make a choice. Accept the HGTV Dream Home 2024 in Anastasia Island, Florida, including furniture, the Mercedes Benz and $100,000 cash, or pick the cash option.

Do you have to pay taxes on HGTV Dream Home? ›

All federal, state, and local taxes on the Grand Prize are Grand Prize Winner's responsibility. The Grand Prize Winner will be issued a 1099 tax form for the actual value of the Grand Prize.

What is the cash option for HGTV Dream Home 2024? ›

In lieu of taking title to the HGTV Dream Home 2024 (and the contents of the HGTV Dream Home), the grand prize winner could opt for the “cash option” or $650,000 in cash.

Has anyone kept the HGTV Dream House? ›

The “Reality” of Reality Home Television

According to HGTV, only one of the first 10 Dream House winners has been able to hang on to their winnings. Just six of the first 21 winners actually lived in their new digs for more than a year.

Can anyone afford to keep the HGTV Dream Home? ›

With so many winners either choosing to sell the home or take the cash prize, one wonders, “what really happens when you win?” If you decide to keep the home, you better have mountains of cash available to pay for it because this prize is far from free. But even if you don't, you aren't entirely out of luck.

Do HGTV participants keep furniture? ›

But here's the kicker: More often than not, the homes are staged, meaning the homeowners don't get to keep the furniture and decor that's shown on TV. “Most if not all of our flipping shows are staged,” Betsy admits, noting that, depending on the client, sometimes the renovation will include some of the furniture.

How do they notify you if you win HGTV Dream Home? ›

"Prospective grand prize winner will be contacted either by phone, email, in writing or via an 'ambush style' visit by sponsor's representatives at the grand prize winner's home or other location between Feb. 30, 2024, and April 30, 2024.

Do lottery winners have to pay to be on my lottery dream home? ›

"Once other winners saw the show and how it was about wish fulfilment and making people's dreams become a reality, people were more willing to take part. "Lottery winners don't really need the exposure and they don't need the money to participate.

Should you pay off your house if you win the lottery? ›

And what do I suggest you do regarding your mortgage should you win the lottery? Pay it off. Chances are you will have a few million left over anyway and most likely won't miss the extra dollars you could have earned by making the financial choice rather than the personal one.

Where is the 2024 HGTV Dream Home located? ›

Located on Anastasia Island in St. Johns County, Florida, HGTV Dream Home 2024 offers indoor-outdoor living for a carefree coastal lifestyle.

What disqualifies you from HGTV Dream Home? ›

Any attempt by you to obtain more than one (1) Entry per day, per Website by using multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations or logins, or any other methods may void your Entries, and you may be disqualified from the Promotion.

Is the HGTV Dream Home fully furnished? ›

The HGTV Dream Home is the American cable television network HGTV's annual project house and sweepstakes, held since 1997. The sweepstakes commences with a January 1 television special showcasing the fully furnished, custom-built home valued in excess of one million dollars; viewers are invited to enter online.

Can people afford to keep the HGTV Dream Home? ›

And so far Wolstenholm is still living in her dream home, but most aren't. In fact, it's probably fair to say that no winner of an HGTV Dream Home could easily afford to take the prize, given the immediate tax bill.

How does HGTV notify you if you win? ›

How will a winner be determined, notified for 2024 HGTV Dream Home in Florida? "Prospective grand prize winner will be contacted either by phone, email, in writing or via an 'ambush style' visit by sponsor's representatives at the grand prize winner's home or other location between Feb. 30, 2024, and April 30, 2024.

Do the homeowners get to keep the furniture on HGTV shows? ›

But here's the kicker: More often than not, the homes are staged, meaning the homeowners don't get to keep the furniture and decor that's shown on TV. “Most if not all of our flipping shows are staged,” Betsy admits, noting that, depending on the client, sometimes the renovation will include some of the furniture.

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