If the winner of anything says they never dreamed it could happen, they are lying. They have to be. What contestant with even a shred of ego never dreams winning could happen? By way of confession, I just submitted a short story to a contest. Have I dreamed I might win? Of course. Several times. In fact, I dreamed up the win before I got around to proofreading the final draft.
What's that, you say? You honestly never dreamed it could happen. What the hell goes on in your cloistered mind? Oh, you were solely focused on doing your best possible writing. Well, not me. Somewhere between the third and fifth drafts I put down my pen, slouched back in my chair, patted my belly and said to the ceiling, "Wouldn't it be awesome if...?"