Jolene Bjarnason overcame long odds for the second time in her life by winning the Red Deer Kinsmen Dream Home.
Her first long-shot was beating advanced-stage breast cancer. “I’m not even supposed to be here,” said the four-year cancer survivor, who is thrilled and amazed to now be the lucky owner of a $750,000 home in the Laredo neighbourhood.
“I cried for two hours, I was so overwhelmed.”
On Friday morning Bjarnason had said out loud: “‘Today’s the day I am winning my dream home…’ I just put it out there,” as a statement to the universe, she recalled.
Later that day, the married 59-year-old was surprised to get a call from Chris Klassen, co-chair of the Kinsmen Dream Home Lottery. He broke the good news that her ticket had been drawn for the luxurious four-bedroom house.
“I usually don’t win anything and now I’ve won this house, which is so beautiful!” said Bjarnason, a former nurse who owns a catering company.
While she’s supported the Kinsmen lottery for many years, Bjarnason had previously bought tickets in the names of other family members. She impulsively bought a ticket for herself this time after hear the Kinsmen were having to extend their draw deadline because enough tickets hadn’t been sold.
Bjarnason plans to discuss with her husband whether they will move into the spacious home built by True Line Homes — which might be perfect since she has a large extended family of six children and 11 grandchildren.
But as the couple now live in Red Deer County, and Bjarnason said it also might take a lot to get her husband to move to the city.
While the Red Deer Kinsmen will not make as much as hoped for from this year’s lottery, it will be profitable and support the group’s many programs, said Klassen.
Besides this tight economy, Klassen believes part of the reason ticket sales were down is that the Child Advocacy Centre started another dream home lottery around the same time of year.
The 2018 Ford Mustang Eco-Boost in the Kinsmen Lottery was won by Colin Little of Red Deer, and the winner of the 50-50 Cash Lottery of $117,140 is Taede Osstenbrug of Red Deer.
Other prizes were: The Wildcat Sport XT won by Don Bidyk of Red Deer, the Home Theatre Package won by Bruce Perrin of Blackfalds, Groceries for a year by Michael and Karmen McCarty of Red Deer, a Great Room Furniture Package by Jim Stapley of Red Deer, Bedroom Furniture Package by Wendy White of Red Deer, a Theatre Room Furniture Package by Roger Mallett of Red Deer County, a Master Bedroom Furniture Package by Dean Kohut of Red Deer, a Dining Room Furniture Package by Carl Sulyak of Red Deer, the Boy’s Bedroom Furniture Package by Mathew Bealle of Red Deer, the Girl’s Bedroom Furniture Package by Tyler Salahub and Janette Battyanie of Red Deer, the Loft/Office Furniture Package by Stephanie Lodewyk of Penhold, and a Private Dinner for 12 was won by Norma Mauro and Dennis Christie of Red Deer.