All smiles: Hospital Home Lottery Early Bird Prize Winners Grace & John

What a life-changing day for Grace, the winner of our Hospital Home Lottery Early Bird prize, when she received a call at her home in Hindmarsh Island on Wednesday morning.

“But when I realised it was real, it was overwhelming. My husband John wasn’t home at the time, so I cleaned the whole house trying to keep busy and contain my excitement!”“When I first got the call I though ‘what sort of scam is this!’” said Grace.

Grace and John visited The Hospital Research Foundation office on Thursday to make the ultimate choice of their prize – a stunning 2014 Lotus Elise S or the $100,000 cash.

“There was a moment of temptation to take the Lotus –it’s was an adolescent dream of mine! But it really was a no brainer – we chose the $10,000,” said John.

“The money just means so many things for us. There are plenty of things we want to do to our house, and we want to give a chunk to each of our three kids. We have also wanted to go to Provence in France to visit a friend, so now we can do that!” said Grace.

“Four weeks ago I won a bottle of olive oil and chilli jam. This is a bit of a step up! I’ve never won money before, it’s surreal.”

Grace and John explained they have bought a Hospital Home Lottery ticket for the last couple of years.

“Research is really important in our lives and we have an understanding of what it can mean. Soon after I met John his son Chris, at age 14 was diagnosed with a brain tumour,” said Grace.

“In those days they opened up the whole skull to do the removal – it was scary stuff,” recalled John.

“I remember our surgeon being in tears after completing the successful operation on Chris because in those days it was so risky.”

“Since then we have watched the progression of research in the area – how things have changed from that time nearly 30 years ago! It’s phenomenal.”

“We are very pleased to support medical research through the lottery and wow, how amazing it feels to win as well.”