Of the 37,000 people who took the tour of the CHEO Dream of a Lifetime home, Angélé Ménard was not among them. In fact, the first time Ménard entered the home was on Wednesday — the day she won it.
Ménard is the lucky winner out of almost 75,000 of the $2.3 million CHEO Dream of a Lifetime Lottery grand prize. On top of the $2.1 million home in Stittsville, the grand prize also consists of a Jeep, $100,000 cash, $5,000 gift cards to both Farm Boy and the St. Laurent Mall, season tickets to the RedBlacks and cleaning services for a year.
“I was sitting at my desk and I saw that the call was coming in from CHEO, so the first thing I thought of was my grandchildren,” said Ménard. “After they told me I won the grand prize I had to ask them three times what I won because of the shock.”
Ménard, who works for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, says charity in Ottawa has always had the utmost importance to her. She is a member of the board at the Shepherds of Good Hope Foundation and has played the CHEO lottery several times before.
In fact, one of the first things she wants to do after accepting her prize is to visit and give back to the hospital.
Ménard, who lost her son, Patrick, to epiliepsy when he was 22, knows what its like to lose a child, regardless of age. She also understands the importance of doing all you can to help those kids.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for CHEO,” said Ménard. “Believe me, I will encourage everybody to purchase tickets next year. It’s such a great cause, because this fundraiser brought in millions of dollars and that’s what CHEO needs desperately.
“With children, it’s so special.”
Ménard won the prize in a joint purchase with her boss, so as for her plans on what’s next in terms of moving in, those have yet to be discussed. What she plans to do now is just savour the moment.
“I just want to really live this true,” said Ménard. “I just need to recollect and rethink and say a big thank you to CHEO and the universe.”
Ménard also said one of the first things she wants to do is host a party at the house, but with a stipulation for the guests.
Everyone who comes must promise to purchase a ticket for next year’s draw to continue to support the foundation.
According to CHEO, next year’s home is already under construction and will be located in the nearby area. Tickets for that draw go on sale later this year.
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