By Jaymie L. White
Special to the Appalachian
STEPHENVILLE – Eleven lucky individuals are splitting a $500,000 second prize after winning a draw for Atlantic Lottery’s Daily Grand. The winning draw took place on Nov. 15, and each person took home a hefty $45,454.55.
Cathy White, the woman in charge of collecting the money and purchasing the tickets, said the group has been playing the lottery together for years.
“I think I started about 2013 and we played every week. Everyone would play three dollars a week and that usually covers 6/49, the Lotto Max, and this year was the first year I actually did the Combo 5. If we had any extra money, I’d buy an extra ticket here and there.”
The biggest amount the group won before this was approximately $100, so it was incredibly exciting when she found out about this win.
“My daughter checks my tickets for me on every Friday, and she took it and went in. Next thing I know she comes into work and she’s bouncing. She said, ‘You Won $500,000!’ Of course, I had a line of customers at that time, she had to show me the ticket so I could see. The customers are watching me, and I had to take my mask off for a second so I could breathe.”
White announced over the walkie talkie to fellow members of the Lotto Group who were working at Canadian Tire with her that day that they won the lotto and her daughter contacted everybody else.
“It was wonderful. Everybody was very excited about it.”
When she called Atlantic Lottery, they asked her not to let anybody know, which White said is actually a hard thing to do.
“We are a small town. Everybody knew. Somebody in Ontario found out after they told us not to let anybody know.”
White had a system in place which made it easier to keep track of everyone who paid into the lottery each week.
“I always keep track. I write their names in pencil – the ones who are supposed to be in on it – and when they give me the money, I write it in pen, so we always know who is in on the draw. That way no one can come to me and tell me they are supposed to be in on the draw when they haven’t paid. It makes it fair for everybody.”
The Dream Team winning group members are Cathy White, Jeff Dubois, Karen Conran Slade, Doris White, Ross Etheridge, Carl Wheeler, Caren Noseworthy, Shannon Nolan, Clayton White, Marcella Rogers and Brenda Smith. Each member has their own plans for what they will do with the reward money.
“A lot of people are using it for home renovations, paying some bills off, things like that from what I understand. I am going to use it for a new roof,” shared White.
The Dream Team met for pictures for Atlantic Lottery in December and an investigation needed to be completed to ensure no one else won as a part of the draw and that there were no fraudulent claims to the prize.
“They investigated everybody because they had to make sure. Then they told us we would receive our money on the 4th or 5th of January, and we received it on the 4th in the evening. Everybody’s got their money now.”
White says the group plans has no plans to stop playing the lottery. They all agreed that want to continue to play, and she will do what she has always done.
“I buy it at the same store every time. I never change stores. I do it every Friday, right after work, and I’ll keep going to the same one. You never know, we might win again, but I hope the next one is a lot bigger!”