Deb Karst of Spiritwood says she was shocked and surprised to learn she was the winner of a Saskatoon show home in the 2018 STARS lottery.
“No way,” Karst said after receiving the call. “You very much made my day. I am just in shock, there are no words.”
Karst said she has supported the lottery in past years but this was her first time winning a prize.
“This is my first time getting one of these wonderful calls,” she said.
Barbara Ashton of Turtleford won the $800,000 Lucky STARS 50/50 draw.
For Danny and Renee Ismond, a family holiday became a little more memorable when they received the call that they were the winners of the $1.5 million Regina show home. The Yorkton residents and their two sons were enjoying a vacation in Edmonton when they discovered they had won the prize.
“We just keep sitting here, pinching ourselves saying ‘is this for real?’” said Ismond. “You changed our lives for sure.”
Danny said he is deeply aware of the importance of STARS and allies in the chain of survial in Saskatchewan as his parents are the owners of an ambulance service in Balcarres.
Mike Lamacchia, STARS vice-president of operations for Saskatchewan and Alberta, was on hand for the calls to the winners last Thursday at the show home location in Pilot Butte.
“Thanks to the incredible response from our allies in Saskatchewan, the 2018 lottery was a complete sellout,” said Lamacchia.
“It is because of this support that STARS has the ability to be a global leader in critical patient care and be there for the next patient who needs us. Thank you, Saskatchewan, for supporting STARS as you have for the last seven years.
This year’s lottery featured roughly 2,000 prizes worth more than $4 million retail. It sold out well in advance of the July 19 deadline, raising more than $2.2 million net for the non-profit.
Cindy Seidl, provincial director of Saskatchewan operations said the net proceeds represent nearly 25 per cent of the funds STARS needs to raise every year to operate its Saskatoon and Regina bases. “The lottery is our largest annual fundraiser and is critical to the operation of our service for the people of the province,” said Seidl.
“Everyone who bought a STARS lottery ticket should feel good, knowing they are helping give patients a second chance; keeping families and communities together.”
For general information about the STARS lottery and for a complete list of winners, which will be posted visit starslotterysaskatchewan.ca.