THUNDER BAY -- Chris Krumpholz was given a $100 birthday gift that turned out to be worth $459,000.
For his birthday Krumpholz was given a ticket for the Fort William Rotary's annual House Lottery Draw and that ticket happened to be pulled as the grand prize winner during Canada Day celebrations at Prince Arthur’s Landing, making him the owner of the new Sunflower Drive home.
He was sitting around a barbecue with a few friends when he got the call.
“I was stunned. I didn’t really expect,” he said when reached by telephone early Tuesday evening.
“Ironically it was the first year in probably a dozen or so years I hadn’t worked at the marina on Canada Day.”
Krumpholz described it being a “surreal” feeling when he was told he was the winner and was still waiting for the full impact to sink in.
The odds were definitely against him, as there were more tickets sold this past year than at any point in the draw’s 28 year history.
His was one of 7,921 tickets that were in the drum before the grand prize winning slip was pulled.
That high number of tickets is good news for the organization, which had expressed concern in the days leading up to the draw over whether they would hit their target.
House Lottery chairman Bob Hookham said the draw has become such a success because of the positive work it does for local charities.
Among the organizations that benefit from the initiative include the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, which will receive $500,000 over the next five years and the George Jeffrey Children’s Centre which will see funding go towards the second phase of its playground construction.
“It’s a draw where everybody wins because all the money stays here,” Hookham said.
The draw has raised close to $5 million for the community in its history.
There was also $50,000 in early bird draws in addition to the grand prize.
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