No home for $10K winner

Brittney Boyd has $10,000 worth of electronics and nowhere to put it.

Boyd, a freshman marketing major, won the Ultimate Dorm Room sweepstakes Nov. 15. Her name was drawn randomly from a pool of more than 20,000 people who registered across the country with TechKnowOverload Tours.

Two days after she found out she had won the prize package, she learned she had nowhere to live.

“I’m so happy, but it couldn’t have come at a crazier time,” Boyd said.

Boyd lived at home in Sharon Hill and commuted to Temple. After a fight with her mother, Boyd packed all of her belongings, and moved out on her own.

“For a while, my mom and I haven’t been able to get along,” Boyd said. “We finally just had a fight, and I left.”

Boyd said she often stayed with her boyfriend on campus during the week to avoid the commute, especially when the weather got colder. She would then go back to Sharon Hill for the weekends.

As the contest’s winner, Boyd will receive 37 electronic prizes, including a Sager Notebook PC, an MP3 player, a 15-inch LCD flat panel television and a satellite radio boombox from Sirius.

Boyd hasn’t received any of the electronics yet, but said she thinks they will arrive in about two weeks.

“I still haven’t figured out where to tell them to ship it,” Boyd said. “I think I’ll have them take it to my best friend’s house.”

Since she has been out of her house, Boyd has been staying at various places around campus, including her boyfriend’s apartment in 1300 residence hall.

As a guest, Boyd can only stay with her boyfriend for three days at a time, according to dorm regulations. She said she has begun to look for a permanent place to live, but would need to find a job first.

She was working as a telemarketer, but recently quit to focus more on her schoolwork.

“I hated telemarketing. I got yelled at all day, and cussed at,” Boyd said. “Then I’d go home and get yelled at and cussed at.”

Boyd said she didn’t originally plan on commuting to school and tried to get on campus housing at the beginning of the year. Since her mother was unable to co-sign for her to get a school loan, she was unable to afford it.

“Other people can’t co-sign for me because their credit is too bad,” Boyd said. “I’ve been trying to establish my own credit, but it’s been hard.”

Boyd said in order to stay in school she’s going try to apply for financial aid through Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

“My tuition is not fully paid yet. My mom was supposed to pay for it, but not now,” Boyd said. “I’m going to be applying the first day in January [for FAFSA].”

Out of all the gadgets Boyd won, she said the one she is most looking forward to having is the laptop. At her home in Sharon Hill, Boyd didn’t have a computer, and said it was difficult to keep up with schoolwork without one.

She said she’s not sure if she is going to keep everything, or try to sell some of the prizes.

“I don’t want [TKO Tours] to be offended,” Boyd said. “I don’t particularly play guitar, but I won a $1,600 guitar. The newest iPod, the mp3 player, I don’t really care. I need that laptop, though.”

Even though she doesn’t know where she is going to sleep each night, Boyd said she’s not worried about the future.

“Winning this is just God’s way of telling me everything is going to be OK. He’s saying, ‘I’m working with you, I’m going to see you through this,'” Boyd said. “You’ve got to stay positive.”

TKO Tour visited Temple earlier in the semester to show technology that is targeted to college students. The TKO Tour is sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association.

Emily Catalano can be reached at catalano@temple.edu.

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