Slocum and his wife, Tuconya, won the Prince George's County Department of Housing and Community Development's House Lottery, giving them a new house in Lanham at a substantially reduced price. The ribbon was cut last week on the four-bedroom, two-bathroom house.

How did you learn about the lottery?

My wife and I are members of the Sanctuary at Kingdom Square. Our pastor announced that Prince George's County was having a lottery sponsored by the housing authority. He encouraged the whole congregation to apply. My wife told me to apply, so I did. After I came home one day, I saw some boxes packed. I thought they were other things we were donating to Goodwill, but my wife was already packing for the new house. I said, "What are you doing?" "I have faith," she said.

When did you find out you had won?

I heard that we won at a drawing in June at the Prince George's fitness center. They gave out four prizes -- the first three were $500 and the grand prize was the home. I was shocked -- not only that they called my name, but at the face that my wife had. She was a stickler the whole time that this was going to come through. I couldn't believe that she had claimed it and it had actually come true.

What went through your mind as you watched the house get built and renovated?

When we toured the house for the first time, nothing had been done. We just basically saw a skeleton. Now it has many of the amenities and technological advances put in there. We just couldn't believe the transition. Our minds were just blown. We're very thankful for the opportunity. We love the neighborhood. We look forward to joining the civic association and contributing to the community. The anticipated move-in date is January of next year. Next month -- it sounds far, but it's just next month.

-- Matt Connolly