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One lucky winner at Howard Housing Fair's house lottery

The 9th Annual Come Home to Howard County Housing Fair at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, MD on Saturday, April 11, 2015.  (Jen Rynda, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

While any visitor to Saturday's Come Home to Howard County housing fair could take home giveaway souvenirs that would fit in a tote bag, one family took home something as big as a house: They took home a townhouse at a low-market rate.

As part of the annual Howard County Housing Fair, held this year at Wilde Lake High School, Howard County Housing drew one  lottery winner from pre-registered applicants looking for a chance on a Howard Square three-bedroom, three bath garage townhome.

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When Anthony Beachum's name was announced as the winner, his wife, Yvonne Beachum, jumped from her chair in the audience and claimed the prize.

"I won a house," Beachum said after leaving the stage. She said her family would first apply for a loan, then go and check out the new house. "We go from there," Beachum said.

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The annual fair is "one of the best events we have in the region [and] actually educates and helps empower people to own their own home," County Councilman Calvin Ball said.

More than 60 vendors, including lenders and bankers, provided information on renting and buying houses in Howard County, according to Tom Carbo, director of Howard County Housing.

Through the housing lottery, "a lucky family [is] given an opportunity to purchase a $400,000 home for about $223,000," Carbo said.

"I'm ecstatic," Beachum said Saturday, "just happy we are still part of Howard County."

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