THUNDER BAY — This is a special holiday weekend for Janice Hnatiuk of Balmertown, Ontario.
The Red Lake-area resident won $533,000 on Friday in the Thunder Bay 50/50 draw.
She was in a state of complete disbelief when the congratulatory phone call came from Glenn Craig, president and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation.
Hnatiuk needed to be assured several times that it wasn't a prank call before exclaiming "I think my heart is going to jump out of my chest."
The lucky winner's father recently spent time in the Thunder Bay hospital's ICU, which is why she chose to support it by buying a 50/50 ticket.
Hnatiuk said it's too soon to plan what to do with her winnings, but mentioned that she'd like to help out her children and do some travelling.
The 50/50 draw raises funds for new equipment and upgrades at Thunder Bay Regional Sciences Centre and its satellite programs across Northwestern Ontario.
One of the newest acquisitions supported by the draw is a 3T MRI scanner which is expected to arrive soon.
3T MRI is the fastest diagnostic magnetic resonance imaging technology available.
Tickets for the August draw for Thunder Bay 50/50 are now on sale.