By Venita Fritz
Tribune-Courier General Manager
BENTON – For the second year in a row a Marshall County resident has won the St. Jude Dream Home. Robert (Bob) Gatlin of Benton got a phone call with the news Sunday afternoon that left him speechless.
Gatlin and his wife Jane were on the way out the door to “get a cheeseburger at Wendy’s” when they got the call. Gatlin said, “I just can’t believe what’s happened to me and my wife. It’s just unbelievable.”
Gatlin said he bought only one ticket for the home and had just purchased it on Friday before the drawing. He and his wife had seen a call-a-thon that aired on WPSD and decided to get in on the chance to win.
The Dream Home is valued at $306,000 and is located in the Cimarron Cove Subdivision in Paducah.
Except for a brief time working outside the county, the 84-year-old Gatlin is a lifelong resident of Benton. He says he will probably sell the house because he can’t imagine leaving Marshall County.
“This is home,” he said. “I wish we could somehow bring that house here, though, he laughed. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s built so well and everything in it is just perfect.”
Gatlin has long been a supporter of St. Jude. He and his wife have purchased tickets for the Dream Home drawing in the past and he told The Paducah Sun they make regular monthly contributions to the charity.
The Gatlin’s good fortune continued into Sunday night. He said he and his family went to Olive Garden in Paducah after touring the home and upon learning of their winnings, the manager picked up the tab for the whole family.
“It was one of the best days of my life,” said Gatlin. “Everything was going just right for me.”
Gatlin is not the first Marshall Countian to win the Dream Home. Last year Lyndell Moore of Calvert City had the winning ticket.
St. Jude sold 7,345 tickets for the Dream Home. In addition to the house, there were a number of other prizes given away, including furniture packages.