Spring 2019 Dream Lottery winners announced

From the left: Elana Johnson, chair of the Children's Health Foundation, John MacFarlane, president and CEO of London Health Sciences Foundation and Michelle Campbell, president and CEO of St. Joseph's Health Care Foundation hold the cheques of the grand prize winner and 50-50 winner at the Jefferson Industrial Dream Home on Thursday morning. Jaclyn Carbone / 980 CFPL

One lucky woman in the Greater Toronto Area says she’s “speechless” after learning she is the grand prize winner of the Spring 2019 Dream Lottery.

The lottery’s top winners were announced inside the Jefferson Industrial Dream Home in southwest London on Thursday morning.

Greta Tachdjian from Markham, Ont., won the ultimate prize. She will have the choice of one of three dream homes or $1 million in cash.

The home options include a furnished $1.45-million Jefferson Industrial Dream Home located just under the peak of Boler Mountain, a furnished $1.25-million Jefferson French Provincial Dream Home across the street, which comes with $250,000 in cash, or a furnished $1.2-million Nicholson Pinery Bluff Dream Cottage in Grand Bend, also with $250,000 in cash.

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Tachdjian wasn’t the only winner in Thursday’s draw. A couple from Kerwood, Ont., will be receiving half of the $1,053,060 prize pool. Barb and Colin Brander won the 50-50 draw and will get $526,530. Not believing she had actually won, Barb asked officials with the Dream lottery to send her a picture of the cheque.

“Those who support the lottery should feel really, really good about what they’re doing in this community and the impact it has, both locally and outside of London,” said Elana Johnson, chair of the Children’s Health Foundation.

All proceeds from the lottery support patient care, programs and equipment at London’s hospitals.

“People may not realize that at Children’s Hospital, 90 per cent of the equipment used to help kids get better, improve their lives and save their lives is funded through fundraising,” said Johnson.

She said the funds also back research and education that impacts communities far beyond the Forest City.

“We have world-class researchers working diligently and around the clock to help increase our understanding, knowledge and skills of what is the best approach to health care given whatever circumstance they are dealing with,” she said.

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“It sets London up as leaders in innovation and excellence in research, which then informs excellence in care.

“Not only do current patients and families benefit, but future ones will as well.”

Johnson said the research happening in London shows excellence and best practices and that those are incorporated into health-care systems across the province, around the country and throughout the world.

“It’s a big world but, in health care, it’s also a small world in that because of our ability to communicate and share knowledge, health-care practices can be informed through sharing. It sets London up [as a global leader in health care],” Johnson added.

The Spring 2019 Dream lottery is expected to add more than $1.8 million to the almost $35 million the program has raised for London’s three regional hospitals since 1996.

Proceeds go to St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation, the London Health Sciences Centre and the Children’s Health Foundation.

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