That Gerry Hockstok is smart guy, but his heart still nags at him.
"It was a hard decision,” the Dayton resident said. “I really wanted to have the car. My emotions told me to take the car”
Hockstok, 61, a tool-and-die maker, was the grand prize winner in The Bellevue Hospital Foundation’s fourth annual “Is Your Heart Set on a Vette” raffle.
For $100 a pop, folks could enter the drawing to win a 2014 Corvette Stingray or the cash equivalent: $53,000. The hospital foundation began selling tickets in September, and by mid-December it met its goal of selling 1,553 tickets.
Tickets were sold to people in 46 states, according to foundation director Kate Herring.
Gary Steinle, of Steinle Chevrolet-Buick in Clyde, co-sponsored the event, with additional support from the Bellevue Beverage Center, the Fremont Steinle location, Hogue’s IGA in Bellevue, the hospital Gift Shop staff and the foundation’s board members.
The drawing was held earlier this year, but Hockstok only recently decided to accept the cash option instead of the Corvette. After taxes he’ll walk away with about $37,600.
“I like cars,” he said. “I don’t make a whole lot of money, so this (raffle) was a way I could support something I wanted to support”
He bought a ticket by phone and shortly received ticket No. 1489.
In January, he got a phone message.
“She said she was from the Corvette raffle and needed to talk to me,” Hockstok said. “I didn’t know what to say. I thought it was maybe some early-bird drawing. I never would have believed I won the grand prize. It just doesn’t happen every day”
Other winners who received smaller cash prizes: $2,000 to Danny Robinson, of Westlake, La.; $1,500 to James Kulcsar, of Clinton, Ohio; $1,000 to John Goodwin, of Norwalk; and $500 to W. Tullo, of Hasbrook Heights, N.J.; and $250 to Patrick McBride, of Bowling Green.
Hockstok said he even stopped by a Chevy dealership to talk to some people about the Corvette Stingray.
“I’ve always liked hot rods,” Hockstok said. “Corvette, Camaro, sporty cars. It wasn’t easy, but I know I would have had to lay out more cash if I took the car. If it wasn’t for the taxes on the car, I would have taken it easily”
He said he’s placing the sum total of his winnings toward his mortgage, which should be paid off by year’s end.
Proceeds from the raffle benefit the hospital foundation’s women’s and children’s projects, including the Women’s Mammography Fund, which helps supply screening mammograms for underinsured or uninsured women, Herring said.