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Christmas comes early to Lakefield: Post wins AgStar Dream Home Sweepstakes

LAKEFIELD -- A Lakefield woman and her husband have 20,000 reasons to celebrate this holiday season. Melanie Post is the winner of the first AgStar $20,000 Dream Home Sweepstakes. She had no idea what was about to happen as the final bell prepare...

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Brian Post smiles as his wife Melanie accepts the AgStar Dream Home Sweepstakes prize. Tim Middagh/Daily Globe

LAKEFIELD - A Lakefield woman and her husband have 20,000 reasons to celebrate this holiday season.

Melanie Post is the winner of the first AgStar $20,000 Dream Home Sweepstakes. She had no idea what was about to happen as the final bell prepared to ring Wednesday afternoon at Pleasantview Elementary School, where she is employed as a library paraprofessional.
Standing in the library, Melanie was met with a flood of balloons, a group of AgStar representatives, a cardboard check and her husband, Brian.
“Are you kidding me?” Melanie asked as Jenny Doering, AgStar’s director of home mortgage services, shared the good news.
“I always enter, but I never expect to win,” Melanie said. “I never win anything. I can’t say that anymore, can I?”
Melanie said she entered the sweepstakes on a whim while she was on the AgStar website looking up other information. Brian said he had no idea she’d entered the contest at all. He learned about it when he received a phone call saying he might want to be at Pleasantview Wednesday afternoon because his wife had won something “pretty significant.”
The contest was open to residents of Minnesota and Wisconsin to use the money to either buy, build or refinance a home in a rural Minnesota or Wisconsin community of the winner’s choice.
Melanie said she and her husband live just south of Lakefield on a farm, and she was already making a honey-do list of upgrades their home needed.
“We need to replace windows,” she began. “Our house is like 15 years old. We need new flooring, carpet in the living room.”
The look on Brian’s face indicated he’d heard her list before.
Melanie asked her husband if she was finally getting the hardwood floor she wanted.
“Maybe,” he responded with a grin, adding, “This is a complete surprise.”
“A welcomed surprise,” Melanie agreed. “… It’s Christmas ... a time of miracles.”
The Posts were not the only ones excited by the award. As students passed the library, many stuck their head in the door to find out what all of the excitement was about. Melanie held up her check to show a fellow teacher, along with several curious students.
“Good job, Mrs. Post!” one young man exclaimed when he saw the big prize.

Doering said Melanie’s entry was one of several hundred submitted between May and November, and it was selected at random as the winner of the sweepstakes. Doering said the company offers a different type of contest each year. After reviewing this year’s results, AgStar may offer this prize again next year.
For now, Doering and her fellow AgStar co-workers were excited to bring a bit of Christmas cheer to Lakefield Wednesday.
“It’s so fun to see,” Doering said. “We’re right ahead of the holidays. It’s just such a great opportunity to bring something like this out - a once-in-a-lifetime situation for them.
“How often do you have that opportunity?” Doering said. “We’re really thrilled to be part of this with her and have had the opportunity to share in this today.”

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Melanie Post (center right) is the winner of the AgStar Dream Home Sweepstakes. With her are Jeff Stumpf (from left), Jenny Doering, Chris Gartner and Scott Gunderman. Tim Middagh/Daily Globe

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