Winning an $874,000 Red Deer dream home wasn’t even on Debbie Greiner’s list of possibilities for Friday morning.
“I was just checking my mail when they called … I said, ‘Is this for real?’ ” said the Stettler resident who’d rarely won more than $10 before in the provincial lotteries.
Once the grand-prize win from the 2018 Red Deer Hospital Lottery had sunk in, Greiner had trouble convincing her husband she wasn’t joking. “My husband wouldn’t believe me. He kept saying, ‘Are you telling the truth?’ ”
As a 17-year housekeeping worker at Stettler hospital, Greiner always believed in helping health care causes — and she thought replacing 39 beds at Red Deer hospital was a great reason to support this year’s lottery.
The mother of five and grandmother of 11 said she will probably sell the dream home, “but I need a couple of days to think about it …”
The money would be a big help: “Maybe now I can think about retiring,” said the 63-year-old, with a chuckle.
This year’s Sorrento Custom Homes built dream home on 56 Larratt Close is a three-bedroom luxury bungalow featuring a home office, yoga space and sun room.
Cynthia de Boer, events manager of the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation, which runs the lottery, isn’t surprised the dream home could be put on the market.
In 20 years of lotteries, she said only one winner has ever opted to keep the home: Many winners have been from out of Red Deer, some have preferred rural life, while others had a use for the money.
De Boer said announcing the dream home winner is always a highlight for her. On Friday morning, she also revealed the winner of the $250,000 Mega Bucks prize is Jeannette Richards of Red Deer.
The full list, and the fundraising total, will be released next week.
This year’s lottery was more than 80 per cent sold out. It’s not like during a stronger economy when tickets sold out early, but de Boer is encouraged that more were sold than last year.