Stettler’s Lillian Kirtley could hardly believe her ears when she heard last week she had won an astonishing $2.8 million via the STARS Lottery 50/50 prize.
“The draw was last Thursday,” said Lillian, who lives at Paragon Place. “They called after the draw was finished.”
She had been downstairs playing cards with some friends, so it was actually her husband Bill who first was notified.
“When I got back up to the room, my husband said, ‘There were about three phone calls for you – I don’t know what it’s about!’”
He told them when he expected Lillian back, so another call came through at around 4:30 p.m.
“She phoned at 4:30 p.m. and she said, ‘I’ve got good news – are you sitting down?’ I said, yes, what’s up? At first, I thought maybe they were trying to sell more tickets,” she added with a laugh.
“So it was quite a shocker,” said Lillian, who was born and raised out at Red Willow but has called Stettler home for many years after the family farmed south of town.
As to any plans for the money, Lillian said she wants to help out her four children and seven grandchildren for starters.
“I’ve got to do a little bit of travelling, too,” she said, noting that there had been talk of doing a ‘girls’ trip in the family by going on a Caribbean cruise. “I’ve been on three cruises, and thought that was it. But when my daughter-in-law had suggested it, I think we should!
“We are also planning on perhaps going to Maui for Christmas, too.”
Lillian said another possible trip would be to take the boys and men of the family on a big getaway when they can decide where they would like to go.
“I’ll just chaperone them to see if they behave,” she laughed. These days, because of having to stay indoors, she is doing some stories for the Stettler history book project.
Meanwhile, the lottery win is an amazing piece of very happy news in an otherwise troubled time as the world battles COVID-19. Meanwhile, Lillian said that it’s still something that is sinking in.
And she’s had a fair bit of luck in years past – but nothing of course quite like this.
“I did win a trip to Costa Rica with the Hospitals’ Lottery a few years back. I also once won a 50/50 for around $4,000.”
But $2.8 million?
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said, adding it’s a cause she strongly supports as well. “I’ve supported STARS for years – since 1993.”
Several other Central Albertans won big in the STARS Lottery as well, including Jeff Collins of Rimbey who won the Calgary show home and Sheldon Mudry of Sylvan Lake who won the Edmonton show home.
Randy Whitlow of Carstairs won the early bird draw for $1 million.
Jeannette Johnson of Millet landed the Lethbridge show home as well.