DIY Blog Cabin Winners, Past and Present

DIY Blog Cabin Winners for Every Year Since the Giveaway Began

Every year since 2007, the DIY Blog Cabin Giveaway has renovated an existing home with the input of DIY Network viewers, then given it away to a lucky winner once construction was completed. That makes over 10 years of lucky winners. So who are these people who have had their names drawn as winners from among millions of entries? Find out a little bit about each winner from the very first giveaway through the present day.

Data Network Consultant Wins the 2016 DIY Blog Cabin

Interior of the DIY Blog Cabin 2016
The 2016 DIY Blog Cabin Winner Was Michael Dunosky of San Jose, California. Image (c) Scripps Network, Used with Permission

The 2016 DIY Blog Cabin was one of the most beautiful to date. The prize included a stunning waterfront home located in Florida, all of the furnishings and artwork, $50,000 in cash, and a 2016 Mazda CX-5 vehicle. The total prize value was more than $900,000.

The winner was Michael Dunosky of San Jose, California. The data network consultant and father of two had his name drawn from among nearly 43 million other entries.

The Dunosky family was notified by a voice mail that they needed to call DIY about their entry into the Blog Cabin Sweepstakes. They could hardly believe that they had won the big prize.

"Mike actually wasn't feeling well when we learned the good news, but I thought we should celebrate anyway," said his wife, Patricia Dunosky. "I got out our good crystal and we all toasted with ice water!"

You can read more about the Dunosky's experience on the DIY website.

A Retired Teacher Won the DIY Blog Cabin 2015

DIY Blog Cabin for 2015
The 2015 Blog Cabin Was Won by Albert Zaranka. Image (c) Scripps Network, Used with Permission

 For the Blog Cabin 2015 giveaway, DIY renovated a house from the 70s in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and turned it into a uniquely beautiful modern ranch-style home. And then they gave it away.

The lucky winner was Albert Zaranka, a retired teacher whose name was drawn as the lucky winner from among more than 23 million entries.

Albert Zaranka and his wife, Ellen, had just moved to New York City to be closer to family in his retirement. According to a press release, the very first phone call he answered in his new home was from DIY, telling him he had won the $900,000 giveaway.

Although Zaranka loved the home and had toured its layout daily online, the timing was off for him to actually live in it. "It’s clear on the other side of the country... I just can’t do anything with it," he told his realtor. The house was listed for sale in January of 2016 with an asking price of $895,000.

The 2014 DIY Blog Cabin Giveaway Was Won by a Local Man

Image of the DIY Blog Cabin 2014
The DIY Blog Cabin 2014 was won by Bradley Powell. Image (c) Scripps Network, Used with Permission

Each of DIY's Blog Cabin giveaways attracts millions of entries from around the country. So it's not surprising that every single one of the homes were won by people who lived far away... until the 2014 Blog Cabin giveaway.

The 2014 Blog Cabin winner was Bradley Powell, a married father of three who lives in Winter Haven, Florida, the same town where the cabin is located.

"What are the odds we would actually win and not have to rearrange our lives," Bradley Powell said.

Unlike most winners of a big home, Bradley Powell and his family planned to keep the home and to live in it. 

The 2013 DIY Blog Cabin Winner Is a Retired Administrative Specialist

Winners of the 2013 DIY Blog Cabin Giveaway
Mari Cabrera-Hickerson Won the 2013 Blog Cabin Sweepstakes. Image (c) Scripps Network, Used with Permission

 18 million people entered the DIY Blog Cabin giveaway, but Mari Cabrera-Hickerson was the one to walk away with the $500,000 prize located on the beach in North Carolina.

Mari Cabrera-Hickerson is a retired administrative specialist and a grandmother of four. She had been entering the Blog Cabin Giveaway twice each day since 2007, every time the giveaway was open.

With an affordable prize value, Mari Cabrera-Hickerson planned to keep her home and to build a loft over the garage for her grandchildren.

Grandmother of 10 Wins the 2012 DIY Blog Cabin

Winner of the 2012 Blog Cabin Sweepstakes
Josephine Turner Won the 2012 Blog Cabin. Image (c) Scripps Network, Used with Permission

The 2012 Blog Cabin is located on an 80-acre farm in Waldoboro, Maine, which makes it the perfect residence for the winner, Josephine Turner, who says that the location reminds her of her current home in Butler, Kentucky.

Josephine Turner, a grandmother of 10, is a long-time Blog Cabin fan who entered regularly for four years before winning this $700,000 prize, which included a renovated farmhouse from the late 1800s and a variety of home furnishings and decorations.

“Keep entering, keep entering,” she advised. “The day you skip is the day you might have won.”

Teacher Wins the 2011 Blog Cabin Giveaway On Her Birthday

Carol Livingston, Winner of the 2011 Blog Cabin
Carol Livingston, Winner of the 2011 Blog Cabin Giveaway. Image (c) Scripps Network, Used with Permission

Carol Livingston, an assistant dean at the University of Cincinnati College of Education, found out that she had won the farmhouse-style Blog Cabin 2011 on her birthday. "I got the call on my birthday when I got home from work. And I've never won anything in my life," Livingston said.

Although she wasn't a regular sweeper, Livingston was attracted by the Chesapeake Bay location of the 2011 Blog Cabin and thought that she might as well try to win. She tried to make filling out the entry form the first thing she did when she got home from work each day so that she wouldn't get distracted and forget to do it.

"I don't think I missed too many days, and I have to think that made a difference," she said. Carol's name was chosen from among 9 million people.

Carol Livingston said that she and her family would use the Blog Cabin 2011 as a vacation home for a few years before deciding whether to live in it or to sell it.

As of 2015, the couple still owned the home, and said that it had helped them to retire early.

His First Prize Ever Was the 2010 DIY Blog Cabin!

2010 Blog Cabin Winner Tony Marino
2010 Blog Cabin Winner Tony Marino and His Family. Image (c) Scripps Network, used with permission

The winner of the 2010 Blog Cabin was Tony Marino of North Carolina. Tony Marino was not an avid sweeper, and he didn't even vote for the Blog Cabin's customizable features (though he said he was very happy with the choices that voters made). The first prize he ever won was the $374,000 Blog Cabin.

Unlike many winners, Tony Marino was thrilled by the win, but intimidated by the tax implications and other practical considerations of the prize as well.

"I was overwhelmed with emotions — not only excitement that I had won something so spectacular but then the consequences of winning something so spectacular at the same time. I am a realist, so I was really struck by some of the practicalities of it all." he said.

Marino said that his job and having children in state universities would prevent him from moving to the 2010 Blog Cabin's location in upstate New York full time, but he hoped to be able to keep the house as a vacation home.

Mother Wins Much-Needed Cash from the 2009 DIY Blog Cabin Sweepstakes

Image of the 2009 Blog Cabin Winner
Margi Wolf, winner of the 2009 DIY Blog Cabin. Image (c) Scripps Network, used with permission

The 2009 Blog Cabin Giveaway was unusual because there were some serious problems with the developer who was overseeing the renovation of the home.

According to a statement from the DIY Network, "various issues have prevented us from closing on the house and being in a position to award it to a winner. DIY Network no longer has any affiliation with the developer, nor are we involved with the developer’s apparent efforts to sell the 2009 Blog Cabin. Instead, we are pleased to announce that we will be awarding a cash prize that is equivalent to the approximate value of the home."

The winner of the 2009 Blog Cabin giveaway was Margi Wolff of Florida. This teacher and mother of five didn't seem to mind receiving over $500,000 in cash instead of the house.

"That day we got the news, we sat around and laughed – all that financial pressure being lifted from us. Now we can think about the future in completely different terms. This isn’t just a contest – it’s a blessing," Margi Wolff said.

Grandmother Wins the 2008 DIY Blog Cabin Giveaway

The 2008 DIY Blog Cabin
The Winner of the 2008 Blog Cabin Was Patricia Gayle Donaldson. Image (c) Scripps Network

The 2008 DIY Blog Cabin's winner was a 73-year-old grandmother. Patricia Gayle Donaldson had one of the best ways to tell her husband that they had won a major prize that I've heard so far.

"I brought him in to the computer and I said, 'Look at this.' And he said, 'Oooh, that's a nice house.' And I said, 'Look at this,' and showed him the floor plan, and 'look at this' and he looked at it all and he said, 'It's really pretty.' I said, 'Look at the lake,' and he said 'Oh,' - he loves to fish - 'that'd be fun fishing there.' And I said, 'I won it.' (Laughs) He said, 'You've won what?' I said, 'The house.'" Patricia Gayle Donaldson told DIY.

When Patricia Gayle Donaldson first received an email telling her that she had won the house, she suspected it was a scam. While she was wise to be wary, she eventually discovered that the win was legitimate and she really was a big winner.

The First DIY Blog Cabin Was Won by a Tennessee Grandmother

Image of the 2007 DIY Blog Cabin
The 2007 Blog Cabin Was Won by Joyce Bennett. Image (c) Scripps Network, Used with Permission

The very first Blog Cabin giveaway was a Smoky Mountain getaway. The 2007 Blog Cabin winner was Joyce Bennett, whose name was drawn from among 3.2 million entries.

Joyce Bennett, a 71-year-old grandmother from Tennessee, was told about the giveaway by her daughter, who was also entering to win.

"I am so thankful that I won this beautiful cabin in the Smokies. We can’t wait to spend Christmas in the cabin. We are on the mountain top with this exciting win!" Joyce Bennett enthused.