Jessie Farmer is the lucky one in 2 million.
Farmer, an 85-year-old mother of eight and grandmother of 47, received the grand prize in the Aaron’s National Lucky Dog Sweepstakes. Shortly before noon Friday, a caravan of trucks surprised Farmer at her home in Wrens, Ga., with furniture, appliances and electronics worth $11,000.
“I love it just looking at it,” Farmer said. “I appreciate it. Sure do.”
Farmer was caught off guard when the first truck rolled down the street. She had just checked the mail when a host of store representatives and the Lucky dog mascot offered congratulations.
Henrietta Paster, the youngest of Farmer’s children, had registered her mother for the contest at the beginning of October at the Aaron’s store in Grovetown.
“I said my mama’s always been lucky. She’s a lucky person, and she got lucky,” Paster said.
Store representatives visited with Farmer before Friday’s surprise but kept lips sealed that she was the grand-prize winner. Farmer cooked them bacon and eggs for breakfast last week.
“There’s only one grand-prize winner,” said Tom Peterson, the vice president of marketing for Aaron’s. “Mrs. Farmer is the one who got that number and that letter.”
Farmer’s parents built the three-bedroom wooden house in 1965, and she moved in about 1989.
The new washer and dryer and a side-by-side refrigerator brought the biggest smile to Farmer. She had never owned a washer and dryer, and cleaned clothes at a laundry down the street. The Aaron’s crew carried out a green refrigerator more than 30 years old with the food still inside.
“I’m glad to see it go,” she said of the fridge she bought used for $50.
Farmer worked as a custodian and kitchen helper at Fort Gordon for 21 years before retiring at age 65. She always reminded family members to spend and save wisely, Paster said.
“She’s always giving. If you come in here and you need something, she’s going to give it to you,” Paster said.
Winnings included 16 pieces of bedroom and living room furniture, two big-screen televisions, a refrigerator, a washer and dryer, a laptop and tablet computers. Farmer’s name was picked from 2 million entries.
“She really needs all this because the other stuff she’s had for so many years,” said granddaughter Angela Brinson, of Thomson.
Store workers unloaded the truck full of goods and stored most of the boxes in the home’s living room. Farmer intends to share the winnings with family members.
“My family’s been very good to me,” Farmer said. “If it wasn’t for my daughter, I’d be in the graveyard.”