On “My Lottery Dream Home,” David Bromstad proves that even lotto winners don’t really care if a home they want to buy is perfect. Sometimes, it’s more fun to buy a home with potential so you can add elements that will make it feel more like your own.
In the Season 12 episode “Tri-State Scratch King,” Bromstad meets Cody, who won $600,000 on two scratchers. Now, he’s hoping to find a new home to raise his 5-year-old son, Brooks. Cody also says he’s a contractor, so he isn’t afraid of a few renovation projects.
Bromstad shows Cody three very different houses on the border of South Dakota and Nebraska—and Cody points out what he’d do to make these nearly perfect homes ideal for him.
Read on to find out which house Cody picks, and get ideas on some changes you might want to make in your own home, too.
Mount a TV on the wall
The first house Bromstad shows Cody is a four-bedroom, two-bath house in South Dakota listed for $330,000. The home has a large main bedroom, which Cody likes, but this lottery winner mentions one small change he’d make.
“Probably would get a TV mounted up here,” Cody says when looking at the existing TV, which sits on a dresser. “Give me a bit more counter space.”
Mounting a TV on the wall is a no-brainer today that can improve the function and feel of any room—bedroom, living room, or beyond.
Turn an unfinished basement into usable space
Before the tours, Cody tells Bromstad he’s hoping for a house with an unfinished basement. He wants to have some room to grow and the option to personalize his extra space.
Luckily, this first home’s unfinished basement is huge. When Bromstad shows Cody the massive space, which currently houses a projector screen, couch, trampoline, and lots of toys, he asks what Cody would do with the room.
“Bar, living area,” Cody says, “Two bedrooms, bath.” He even mentions that it could be a great space for kids if he expands his family in the future.
Bromstad loves these ideas, and Cody would certainly have enough space for kids’ rooms. It shows that an unfinished basement can be a big asset to a buyer. Even if homeowners don’t need that bonus room right away, a basement could leave options open in case they suddenly need a home office, have in-laws move in, or have more kids.
Switching out light fixtures is an easy way to add personality
The second house Bromstad and Cody tour is a two-bedroom, two-bath condo just over the Nebraska border. The $335,000 home is a little smaller and a little more expensive than the first home, but it has a beautifully updated kitchen that could sway this lotto winner. Still, Cody would want to make one small change.
When looking at the lights above the peninsula, Cody admits that they’re simply not his style.
“A little not my taste,” he says. “But [it’s] easy to change those out.”
It goes to show that a home could be newly renovated with all the best finishes, but that doesn’t mean every detail will match a buyer’s specific style. Finishes could be new and on trend, but buyers shouldn’t be afraid to switch out those details to make the place feel more like home.
Build storage around a fireplace
In addition to an updated kitchen, this home has a welcoming living room, but Cody knows a few changes will make this space even better.
“I could always lower the mantel and maybe do some cubbies on the side, too,” Cody says looking at the fireplace. “A lot of woodwork.”
“Hey, sky’s the limit when you do everything,” Bromstad says, referring to the lotto winner’s construction skills.
Fill a blank backyard with all the trimmings
The third house is another two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo, but it is the cheapest home at just $289,000.
The place, which is back on the South Dakota side of the border, has a spacious living room, a huge shower, a great unfinished basement, and a sizable yard.
The house is still new, so the backyard still needs some grass and foliage, but there’s already a convenient patio right out the back door.
“You can see the potential,” Bromstad says. “You could do a pergola.”
“A pergola sounds awesome,” Cody says. “Yeah, maybe with a fire pit.”
After all, choosing the right house is often about seeing potential. A plain backyard might seem unexciting, but it’s a blank slate that could turn into a dream oasis.
Which house is the winner?
After seeing all three houses, and touring them again with his son, Cody chooses house No. 3 with the big backyard.
“I’m surprised actually,” Bromstad says.
Still, Cody says Brooks was the deciding factor.
“My son absolutely adored that house,” Cody says. “He loved his room, the living room, the big TV with the fireplace.”
Meanwhile, this lotto winner is looking forward to a few improvement projects to make this home feel even more like his own.