Darrell Elsbett was watching his favourite football team play this past Saturday when he became $100,000 richer.
The Sylvan Lake man said he wasn’t too worried about the game’s result after learning he was the winner of this year’s Red Deer Kinsmen lottery.
“I was shocked. I wasn’t really expecting that call,” Elsbett said shortly after learning his ticket was selected.
“I saw earlier on Facebook they were going to do the draw. I was going to watch and then I just kind of forgot. Then the phone rang and they said it was the Red Deer Kinsmen.”
Elsbett has known members of the Kinsmen club and praised it for the work they do in the central Alberta community.
“I actually bought the ticket to put in the wife’s stocking for Christmas. Turns out it was a pretty good Christmas present,” he said, adding he and his wife hope to spend some of the money on a holiday after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Elsbett works at Stream-Flo, an oilfield equipment supplier, and is a partner at Frontier Signworks out of Brooks. With the oil patch struggling last year, he was unemployed for five months.
“This is definitely a stress reliever,” he said.
In the past, the Kinsmen have done a dream home lottery, as well as a cash lottery every year. But plans were changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ken Waters, lottery co-chair, said this would have been the club’s 40th dream home lottery.
“We weren’t sure what to expect. We came out with our regular cash lottery – it’s a 50-50 lottery. We started in October like we always do and ran it until the end of December. We sold out with just a few days left in the deadline,” said Waters.
The half raised for the Kinsmen Club will be donated and dispersed throughout the community.
It’s too soon to say if the dream home will return in 2021, but Waters said people should expect the next lottery to be “bigger.”
Craig Fleming, also lottery co-chair, said the community made this lottery a success.
“We’re very appreciative of the support of many in the community, especially in such a challenging year. We’re very thankful.”
“This really helped get us through (the year) and now we’re really optimistic about 2021,” he said.