From left: St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation Board member Samira El-Hindi, winning family Pam Hallman, Russ Wilton (ticket holder) and daughter Mackenzie, Children’s Health Foundation President & CEO Debbie Comuzzi, and London Health Sciences Foundation President & CEO Dan Ross.
Russ Wilton of Kitchener has won the Dream Lottery’s Ultimate Dream Grand Prize with ticket number 043833. The draw was made by Debbie Comuzzi, President and CEO of Children’s Health Foundation on June 20 at the Dream home located at 2338 Sawgrass Link in London.
Michelle Campbell, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation, and Dan Ross, President and CEO of London Health Sciences Foundation were also on hand for the announcement, which was carried live on the 6 p.m. CTV2 London News and streamed on www.lfpress.com.
The three hospital foundations will share the lottery’s $1.1 million (net) revenue this year - which is in addition to the more than $20.5 million (net) raised in the 17 previous Dream Lottery draws.
“We are thrilled to congratulate Russ and to thank each and every person who supported their hospitals through Dream Lottery,” says Comuzzi who added that the real winners are the children and their families who will benefit from the specialized health care and research at Children’s Hospital that Dream Lottery helps to provide each year.
Lottery officials were initially unable to reach Wilton, who was working at the time of the draw. When they finally contacted him, his initial reaction was disbelief. After being assured that he wasn’t dreaming, Wilton was then asked to choose between two different home-and-cash prize options, or $1,000,000 all in cash.
After an evening of deliberation, Wilton chose the cash. With a second baby on the way, the cash will come in handy for the 34 year-old. He says in addition to getting some professional financial advice, he and his partner Pam are considering a new car and a home for their growing family.
There were 139,482 tickets sold this year, plus an additional 7,500 given away as prizes. Wilton won on a ticket purchased as part of a 25 pack.
“A record number of Dream Lottery tickets were sold this year, creating many winners, including the patients and families from across our region and beyond who will benefit from the extraordinary care, research, innovation and education that Dream Lottery supports at our hospitals in London,” says Ross.
The primary purchaser of each winning ticket will be contacted by phone and/or mail by London Health Sciences Foundation. A complete list of winners is also posted online at www.dreamitwinit.ca.