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Red Lake woman wins $648,562 in hospital draw

The draw has now raised more than $3.9 million since launching in January.
Betty Ann Magel
Betty-Ann Magel of Red Lake, Ont. won $648.562 in the Thunder Bay 50/50 draw in support of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. (Leith Dunick,

THUNDER BAY -- A Red Lake, Ont. woman got the surprise of her life on Friday, learning she'd won $648,562 in the latest Thunder Bay 50/50 draw.

It couldn't have come at a better time, said Betty-Anne Magel, who told Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation president and CEO Glenn Craig she's months from retirement after a few moments of stunned disbelief on Friday upon getting the call notifying her she'd won the third-largest jackpot in the lottery's six-month history.

“This couldn’t have come at a better time.” she said. “This is the start of a good retirement."

The July jackpot brings the total amount raised through the draw to more than $3.9 million. The money is used to buy new equipment for the the hospital and has been a resounding success during tough times due to COVID-19.

Magel took a few seconds to let Craig's words sink in.

“Are you sure?” she asked repeatedly.
“Yes, I am," Craig said. "Your number came up, and it’s your lucky day!”
“Is it ever," Magel replied, the emotion coming through in her voice. 
Magel is not yet sure how she’ll spend the money, she said it will make a difference.
Craig said it's a fantastic feeling being able to hand over so much money to a hospital supporter.
“Making these calls just never gets old.” he said, “Betty-Ann’s reaction brought our team to tears. It’s remarkable to be able to share wonderful life-changing news like this.
“What’s even more remarkable is that all proceeds from the Thunder Bay 50/50 fund equipment that our Hospital needs to treat patients – not only from Thunder Bay, but from communities across Northwestern Ontario like Red Lake.”

August's 50/50 is under way, with four-early bird draws scheduled and the jackpot scheduled to be drawn for on Aug. 27. Tickets are available at

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith has been the editor of Thunder Bay Source for 19 years and has served a similar role with since 2009. Wants his Expos back. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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