2012-08-02 at 15:51
Couple is $200K richer
Stan and Pat Kuzemich celebrate their $200,000 in the Heart and Stroke Foundation's spring lottery.
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Stan Kuzmich was working last month when his phone rang.
It was his wife Pat, calling with a little good news.
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“We won some money,” she said.
Curious, he asked how much.
“We won about 200,” she said, having asked him ahead of time if he was sitting down.
“I said, that’s great, we won 200 bucks. She said, ‘No, it’s $200,000.”
That’s when reality set in for the couple, whose six children will share a portion of the proceeds, a secondary prize in the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s early-bird prize for its semi-annual fundraising lottery.
“It was absolutely fantastic. We’re so excited and can’t believe it,” Stan said, the win coming mere months after local caterer Dave Thomas won the $2-million grand prize in the charity’s winter lottery draw.
Pat, who took the phone call, said she thought someone was pulling her leg.
“It’s just amazing, I didn’t believe the phone call. She kept saying we won the money and I just kept saying, ‘Really? Really? Really?’ I couldn’t believe it.”
The couple long-time supporters of the Heart and Stroke Lottery who intend to continue buying tickets after their first win, won’t give all their winnings to their children, and plan to sock a portion of it away for their retirement.
“And we’re looking forward to that as well,” Stan said.
Heart and Stroke Foundation area manager Tara Monteith said the two lotteries combined bring in about $9 million each year, revenue that benefits thousands of people each year.
“It supports additional research projects we can fund. It’s helping to support some of the new initiatives we want to have happen in some of the communities about blood pressure, children and obesity. We’re really moving forward on some of those initiatives,” Monteith said.
“So this extra revenue that comes in is a huge factor in supporting the work that we do.”
According to statistics provided by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, about 70,000 Canadians each year die of heart disease or stroke, and 90 per cent of the population has at least one risk factor in their life, often leading to early onset of the deadly diseases.
The Kuzmich’s weren’t the only luck Northwestern Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation lottery winners. Thunder Bay’s Kaley Rojik won a 2012 Chevy Volt in the draw, while Terry Squitti, also of Thunder Bay, won a 2012 Mazda 5 GTS and Keewatin’s Jake Garrow won a 2012 Chevy Malibu LT. Robert Anoniazzi took home a Sony 3D Blu-Ray home theatre system.
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