Kenneth and Cynthia Fenwick of Red Deer are two of the recently announced winners in the STARS Lottery.
On April 12th the winners were announced for prizes including four show homes and a truck and trailer package among a total of 3,200 prizes.
Cam Heke, STARS spokesman, said this year’s lottery netted over $10 million, “Which is absolutely outstanding.”
The Fenwicks won the Sherwood Park show home valued at $856,000.
“I’m just flabbergasted. I’ve never won anything over $100 in my life. I’m bouncing off the walls,” said Kenneth.
A retired firefigher, Kenneth said there is notable value in the STARS Lottery.
“You never know when you’re going to need them.”
In the last year alone STARS responded to 1,634 crisis calls, 61 of which were specific to Red Deer.
“One in every 10 Albertans have been flown by STARS or knows someone who has been,” said Heke.
This is the 19th year that the STARS lottery has sold out completely and Heke said they have Albertans to thank for that.
“People see value in what we’re doing. Since we began in 1985 we have responded to 22,000 emergency calls.”
Of all the calls responded to Heke explained that over half are considered ‘scene calls’ which means that STARS responds to the actual site of whatever emergency they are required for.
Meanwhile, Heke said people seem to enjoy the prizes awarded in the STARS Lottery which include the grand prize homes, cash prizes, numerous vehicles, electronics and many others.
“All of the money from the lottery goes to fund the STARS operations and allows us to fly emergency response teams from any one of our three bases,” said Heke.
The money also goes to fund ongoing training for the STARS teams.
STARS is now expanding into Saskatchewan and Manitoba including a new base in Regina opening April 30th and one in Saskatoon slated for the end of 2012.
“It’s really wonderful when I get to call the winners and tell them they’ve won. If I could do that from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed that would be the best thing,” said Heke.
Kenneth said he plans to continue buying STARS Lottery tickets and doesn’t view it as a loss if they don’t win.
“If you don’t support them, you might not have them. So even if you don’t win, keep buying the tickets,” said Kenneth.
He said he never expected to win and that he was in a state of disbelief when he received the call.
“You always hope you win but you don’t really think of it. At least I never did. We just do it to donate to STARS because it’s a wonderful thing to have.”
For more information visit www.starslottery.ca.