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Georgia Educator Named First $250,000 Winner of Wells Fargo’s “What Makes a Home” Contest

Business Wire
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David Meeks of Forsyth, Georgia submitted a photo capturing the excitement of his little boy’s reaction to seeing his own room for the first time in the family’s new home. The photo and accompanying story resulted in him becoming the first $250,000 winner in the Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) “What Makes a Home” contest. David and Melissa Meeks said the contest win will enable them to pay off their mortgage.

David Meeks, the first $250,000 prize winner in Wells Fargo's

David Meeks, the first $250,000 prize winner in Wells Fargo’s “What Makes a Home” contest, receives the check with his family at their home in Forsyth, Georgia. Pictured (left to right): Arlene Maloney, Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Terry Berding, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Consultant; Melissa and David Meeks and their son, Will. (Photo: Business Wire)

“This is such exciting news,” said Meeks, a high school social studies teacher. “It will mean a lot to our family.”

“It’s a great gift,” added his wife, Melissa Meeks. “This will get us beyond treading water financially.”

The Meeks family, who just moved into their new home, is the first of three winners who will be awarded $250,000 for submitting, in words and images, an answer to the contest question: “What makes a place feel like a home?” The entry can be viewed at This is the first contest of its kind by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

“We are excited to congratulate the Meeks family as our first contest winner and are equally excited that the funds will help the family meet their financial goals,” said Greg Gwizdz, executive vice president and retail sales manager, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “The Meeks’ entry exemplifies that emotional connection to homeownership that we all have. We are happy to celebrate that through our contest.”

The contest entry was inspired by the Meeks’ son, Will, and described the meaning of a new home for him – a room of his own and a place to learn while he plays. Part of the entry’s narrative, “Where ownership becomes sharing and where pride develops responsibility,” conveys how David and Melissa want to teach their son about homeownership through experiences in his room.

“Will is learning about the chores of homeownership and the responsibility of taking care of things in his room like his toys and the furniture,” said Melissa Meeks. “He’s also learning how to share with friends who play less carefully with his toys than he does. These are lessons he can learn with us and through us owning a home.”

Sharing is an important Meeks family value, and they plan to demonstrate it with the contest win by donating $25,000 of their winnings to the Fuller Center for Housing of Macon, Georgia. The center offers hardship repairs for low-income families in the Macon area.

The contest was open to consumers nationwide May 12 through Aug. 31. An independent panel of judges evaluated the entries, looking for well-defined messages that were unique, uplifting and sincere. To be eligible, consumers were required to submit a complete mortgage loan application with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage for the purchase of residential real estate between April 1, 2014 and August 31, 2014. Loan applications were not required for contestants in AZ, CO, IA, MD, MN, NJ, ND or TN.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.6 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 locations, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet (, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2014 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.

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