The two teen-aged winners of a $113,000 Fairfax home got their first glimpse of their five-bedroom prize yesterday. They ignored the place while they posed for photographers and pondered what to do with the windfall.
"Well, of course the first thing we want is new cars -- Corvettes," said Nathan G. Price III, 19, who, along with brother Shawn, 17, won the brick Cape Cod-style home Saturday night in a much-publicized raffle.
The two youths were at their Camp Springs, Md., home when their winning ticket, No. 1534, was drawn in the basement of the Annandale Boys Club. They learned they had won when John Herrity, chairman of the Fairfax County board of supervisors, telephoned "and I heard my mother screaming," said Nathan Price.
The original owners of the Fairfax home, John and Carilyn Redman, conceived the raffle idea after John Redman, a patent examiner, was transferred to New Jersey and the Redmans were unable to sell the home by conventional means because of high interest rates. Their four-month effort to sell the home at 5102 Richardson Dr., in the King Park West subdivision, and then their decision to use a raffle, drew nationwide publicity and became to some a symbol of hard times in the housing market.
Redman contacted the Annandale Boys Club in May to see if it would be interested in sponsoring the raffle. The club agreed. Two thousand tickets were prepared to be sold at $100 apiece. Sales went briskly at first, but were suspended in June when Fairfax County prosecutor Steve Merril questioned the raffle's legality. Minor revisions were made in the contract between the Redmans and the boys club, and Merrill permitted ticket sales to resume. By July 1, all 2,000 tickets were sold.
The Redmans received the first $113,000, the boys club got the next $87,000, and the Price brothers got the entire house for their investment.
Actually, said Diana Price, Nathan and Shawn's mother, it was she who originally purchased the winning ticket along with two others for herself and her husband, Nathan G. Price Jr. She let the boys choose one ticket each when they decided to test their chances.
"They promise us they'll reimburse us for the ticket," she said with a smile, although her sons said they already had.
Yesterday the Redmans, the Prices, and a caravan of neighbors and friends gathered in front of the new home to pose for photographers and to help the boys reflect upon possible uses for the house.
Among the suggestions they have entertained: to rent the house; to live in it; to sell it and use the money for cars or to finance a new business; or to give it to their parents "for everything they've done for us," said Nathan, who works in his father's home improvement contracting business.
One thing the winners have not done yet is inspect the place. Nobody had a key. "But we've been peeking through the windows," said Diana Price, who acknowledged, "We've all been too excited to think much about it."
Besides obtaining their asking price for the home, the Redmans have also benefitted unexpectedly by the publicity. John has been interviewed by local newspapers and television shows, and Carilyn said she has earned about $4,000 from sales of a pamphlet she wrote describing how they organized their raffle.
Also expected to benefit is the U.S. government. At Saturday night's drawing, Herrity said, "There are two winners tonight -- the name on this ticket and the Internal Revenue Service," United Press International reported.
Replied the elder Nathan Price, "We know there's going to be taxes to pay but we don't begrudge our government anything. We'll pay whatever's due on it because this is the greatest country in the world."