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Anaheim woman wins every tenant’s fantasy: free rent for a year

Missy and DeAngelo Tucker were hoping to find something affordable as they checked out a new 400-apartment complex in Anaheim’s Platinum Triangle.

What they got beats affordable.

It’s free.

The couple won’t have to pay the $2,500 monthly rent on their two-bedroom apartment for a year, thanks to a raffle that Missy Tucker won after touring Jefferson Platinum Triangle. The average rent at Jefferson, built in 2017, is $2,595.

More than 600 people entered the contest.

It’s no wonder.

Rents have been soaring in Southern California. Orange County apartment rentals averaged $1,871 a month in the fourth quarter of 2017, with tenants paying an average $355 more per month than they did seven years ago.

Missy Tucker, 33, is a receptionist; DeAngelo Tucker, 29, is a caregiver at a board and care home and takes on odd jobs to pay the bills. The couple, married in Seal Beach in September 2015, said they couldn’t afford a real honeymoon but took a short trip to Las Vegas. They’ve now relocated to Anaheim from Long Beach, leaving behind a spot that was more “fast-paced .. chaotic,” Missy Tucker said.

As they unpacked a heap of bags and boxes one night this week, the couple had a ready answer when asked if they’d be putting the money they’ll save on rent toward a down payment somewhere.

“Our goal is to purchase a townhome,” Missy Tucker said, “probably the size of this, that we can call our own.”

The Tuckers’ apartment is about 995 square feet and has a small balcony where they can sit outside and watch the Disneyland fireworks. A washer and dryer are tucked in a closet. Ceiling fans make the most of the cross ventilation.

Missy Tucker, who’s never won anything before, got emotional when she learned the news.

“All I remember is I was just shaking,” she said. “I was crying.”

Now, she said, “my co-workers are, like, ‘can you go buy me a scratcher?’ ”

Jefferson Platinum Triangle is located about 1.5 miles west of the ARTIC transportation station and 1.5 miles east of Disneyland and the Anaheim Convention Center.

The complex’s amenities include two resort-style swimming pools and spas, two state-of-the-art fitness centers, a yoga studio and a rooftop lounge.

The Tuckers are the first ones to live in their apartment.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Missy Tucker said. “It can be life-changing, depending on how you manage financially.”

And the next time someone asks her to submit her name for a random drawing?

“Oh,” she said, “I’m all in.”

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