Bruce Semeniuk was expecting wife Chris to be scheduling him a doctor’s appointment, so when he got a call Monday afternoon from the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation while at work at Leavitt Machinery, he saw the word “health” and figured he knew what to expect.
The callers were too coy though, and he wondered aloud why they were insistent on confirming his address.
When the assembled crowd in the garage of 78 Voisin Close pushed him a little more over speakerphone, Semeniuk confirmed his details and they gave him the good news.
He, they announced, had won the $850,000 grand prize dream home through the 2014 Hospitals’ Lottery put on by the foundation.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” he responded.
Some 40 minutes later, the Semeniuks pulled up to their new home in Bruce’s bright yellow vintage Chevrolet, and the celebration was on.
“Everybody always thinks it’s a prank,” laughed Bruce when greeted by health foundation board members.
The couple then toured the resplendent 1,698-square-foot bungalow that features five bedrooms and three bathrooms.
The grandparents plan to take the next week to discuss whether they want to keep the home or sell it.
If they do keep it, a giddy Chris acknowledges that she will have to become a wine drinker to get the most out of the home’s custom-designed wine room. Bruce’s big concern centred around whether the double car garage would be big enough for working on his beloved wheels.
The Semeniuks came to Red Deer from Westlock 11 years ago, and have bought tickets for the Hospitals’ and Kinsmen lotteries ever since because, as Bruce puts it, “The local stuff matters.”
Each of the 98,758 tickets made available for the 2014 lottery were sold by early June, and the foundation expects to donate nearly $1 million to the hospital for the purchasing of new cardiac monitors for the neonatal intensive care unit, upgrades to surgical lighting in obstetrical suites, and equipment enhancements to improve gastroenterology services.
The lottery featured 442 other prizes valued at over $1 million, including vehicles, vacations and more. For the first time, the lottery features a 50/50 raffle that paid out nearly $213,000 to the winner.
A complete list of winners will be disclosed later this week.