Gail McDonald’s shot at $1M prize dies as Jets breakaway fails

WINNIPEG — Gail McDonald nearly became a millionaire Tuesday night as hockey fans held their breath with her, hoping for Winnipeg Jet Mathieu Perreault’s fifth goal.

If Perreault, who scored four, had scored again, the Brandon school principal would have won Safeway’s $1 million Score and Win Challenge. The contest awards the cash to a shopper when five goals are scored by one player.

Perreault came close to scoring a fifth on a breakaway but he was robbed by Al Montoya, in net for the Florida Panthers, who lost 8-2.

READ MORE: Mathieu Perreault scores big as Winnipeg Jets trounce Florida Panthers

“I wish I’d known,” Perreault said about the $1 million contest after the game. “I almost feel bad, you know. Sorry for whoever that was.”

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McDonald, who spoke Wednesday morning as she got ready for work, said she had started to wonder what she’d do if Perreault did score the fifth goal.

“It was a little nerve-wracking,” she told Global Winnipeg’s Morning News. “I don’t know what we would do if we actually did win.”

McDonald didn’t even know she was part of the contest until she started getting phone calls from relatives — she was automatically entered when she used her Air Miles card at Safeway. Once she found out, she started watching the game.

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“In between the second and third period, we had quite a few calls,” she said with a laugh.

The biggest question for her last night was whether she’d go to work the next day, a problem solved by Montoya.

“I haven’t had much sleep, so I am a little tired,” she admitted Wednesday.

While McDonald didn’t win the million, she has won some fame, as her name trended on Twitter Tuesday night. Many were pulling for that fifth goal and a big win for McDonald:

Some wondered how the insurers for the contest felt about the situation:

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References to the Barenaked Ladies song If I Had $1000000 cropped up:

A rural Manitoba hockey team saw an opportunity:

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And while it was close, at the end of the game, no one had to worry about this: