Last Tuesday evening, Janis Irwin found out she had won the Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood seat for the NDP. That Thursday, she found out she had won $100,000.
“I was just getting my life sorted, was going through my wallet and I checked a lottery ticket from March and found out that I’d won.
“I honestly didn’t believe it,” Irwin said.
“I don’t play the lottery very much and I’ve never won really anything other than maybe a few dollars here and there. I checked it and I went and talked to the ladies working at the convenience store and was like, ‘This can’t be real,’ and sure enough…”
Those close to her seemed to be tickled pink by Irwin’s good week.
“People have been mostly really kind about it,” she said. “Obviously, they’re really happy about the electoral win… and they’re doubly happy for the stroke of good luck on Thursday.”
However, the new provincial politician admits the election win was less luck than blood, sweat and tears.
“I have to emphasize winning the election on Tuesday was a whole heck of a lot of hard work,” she said with a smile.
“Knocking on doors in the cold, many, many months of campaigning. And this (lottory win) was just kind of a total, total surprise.”
The Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood riding remained NDP after the April 16 vote. Irwin won the seat after former transportation minister and government house leader Brian Mason announced he would not seek re-election.
Before entering politics, Irwin was a teacher, vice principal and university lecturer.
She was getting acclimatized to her new role Thursday at the Alberta legislature.
“I’m just so focused right now on being our MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood and doing the best job I can to represent our constituents,” Irwin told Global News.
Watch below (April 16): NDP MLA-elect Janis Irwin voiced concern for the LGBTQ community following the UCP’s majority government victory.