The winners of the dream home in the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation’s Hospitals’ Lottery were given the keys to their new home last week.
Bob Wynnyk and wife Arlene Wynnyk won the grand prize in this year’s lottery and several others won the remaining prizes which were announced last week at the house which is located at Lazaro Close, near Lancaster South.
“It’s a beautiful surprise,” said Bob, winner of the house which is valued at $800,000. “You don’t usually hear that everyday.”
He said that he and his wife were both in disbelief when they heard. “I didn’t believe it at first,” he laughed. “But after a while it was confirmed but then it took about a week to actually sink in.”
According to the web site, this year’s 465 awarded lottery prizes hold a collective total of $1,190,392.45.
The money made from the contest goes towards the Red Deer Hospital’s Phase Two project which is an initiative that aims to update some of the older equipment in the hospital, mainly focusing on the emergency department, Inpatient Cardiology/Telemetry and Cardiac Intensive Care units.
Although the overall lottery was a success, Marketing and Communications Officer at RDRHF and Event Organizer, Cynthia de Boer, spoke about the donations and funding.
“The lottery is always a great deal of fun and it’s a great cause so we always have to hold our heads up high and say ‘we’re doing the right thing’,” said de Boer. “It did get a bit disappointing a few weeks before we were to close (because of low ticket sales).
“I was very worried, personally, that we weren’t going to be able to fund our cause because that is the reason for our existence. We’re not here to give away homes, we’re here to fundraise for our hospital in Red Deer.”
de Boer said that the money is specifically going towards the installation of 106 network clocks that will allow the healthcare professionals to run on the same time clock, new beds, monitors and other items that need funding.
“It becomes very important when medications are delivered,” de Boer explained. “When you have a medication that needs to be topped up or timed, it’s important that every healthcare provider knows the exact time that the last one (dose) was given.”
Bob said when he purchased his ticket that he did so with the intention of hoping to help the hospital reach its fundraising goal and never once thought he’d be the winner of the grand prize.
He and his wife Arlene said that, though it’s a beautiful house, they’d probably end up selling it seeing as they are from out of town. “It’s too bad,” said Bob. “It’d be nice to move in to a home like this, it’s gorgeous.”
Some of the other prize winners included Robert L. Schafer, the Mega Bucks 50/50 draw’s winner, who will be taking home $224,892.50 along with 463 other people that won the prizes which include such things as new cars, cash, fishing trips to B.C., and other luxurious items.
“I think it’s a great lottery for the cause,” Bob said. “I think it’s a shame that we have to invest through a lottery to have the funding for the hospital, but if that’s the way it has to be then hopefully the people will support it.
“You buy a ticket not thinking you’ll win, but even if you don’t win a prize, you do win if they can pay for the things they need for their unit.”