A dream home in London?
What about a dream cottage in Grand Bend?
Maybe a dream home makeover?
Or how about $1 million in cash?
A tough decision be sure, but one Roy Ireland of Delaware, Ont., will have to make after he was crowned the grand prize winner Thursday of the Dream Lottery, now in its 25th year.
Ireland was informed of the good news over the phone just after 9 a.m. Thursday by Scott Fortnum, president and CEO of Children’s Health Foundation. The announcement came more than a month ahead of schedule after tickets sold out early.
“You are the grand prize winner of the Dream Home Lottery,” Fortnum told Ireland in a brief call made during the virtual announcement.
“Oh, you’ve gotta be kidding,” Ireland replied.
“I am not! I am not kidding at all,” Fortnum said.
“You don’t have to make a decision on the spot, that’s an awful lot to take in early in the morning.”
Ireland had not made a decision yet as of late Thursday afternoon, an official with the lottery told 980 CFPL, noting that such a decision typically takes the winner — understandably — several days or even a week to make.
The two homes being offered, both fully furnished, include a 4,235 sq. ft. dream home from Millstone Homes located in southwest London and valued at $1.5 million.
The other is a 4,436 sq. ft. cottage from Holman Construction, located along Pinery Bluffs Road in Grand Bend and valued at $1.32 million.
There’s also the option of a $1.03 million home makeover by way of a $300,000 gift certificate from Casey’s Kitchens, a $130,000 gift certificate from TLC Landscaping Design + Pools, a $100,000 gift certificate from Accents Home Furniture, plus $500,000 cash.
Earlier in the announcement, Ivanka Lesjak of London was unveiled as the winner of the Dream Lottery’s 50/50 prize. This year’s 50/50 pool stood at $1,294,995, meaning a cash payout of a record $647,497.
“Oh my god! Oh no, no, no, no, no, it can’t be,” a stunned Lesjak can be heard telling Sara Cameron of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation during the announcement.
“It is true, Ivanka, you are our 50/50 prize winner!”
“Oh my god, let me just sit down,” Lesjak says.
The semi-annual lottery is a joint venture between Children’s Health Foundation, London Health Sciences Foundation and St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation.
Money raised from the lottery goes toward St. Joseph’s Health Care London, London Health Sciences Centre, and the Children’s Hospital at LHSC.
Since 1996, a total of roughly $47 million has been raised, and this year’s draw will see nearly $3 million go to the hospitals, according to John MacFarlane, CEO of London Health Sciences Foundation.
“We continue to be so impressed by people in this region supporting, stepping up and supporting our great hospitals,” said MacFarlane said.
“Because of you, we have such great hospitals. So thank you for doing that.”
The lottery helps fund the purchasing of emerging technology and cutting edge equipment, and funds research and training which helps provide better care to the more than 1.9 million patient visits the hospitals see every year, Cameron said.
“Many of you have been supporting us since Dream started, and you’ve helped us kick off an amazing 25th anniversary year for the lottery.”
Late last month saw the final winner announced as part of Dream Lottery’s Making a Difference calendar draw, in which a total of at least $232,500 was given away to 89 winners over the course of three months.
A full list of winners will be posted to the Dream Lottery website on June 3.
— With files from Sawyer Bogdan