Before Wilf Doyle scratched the Set For Life ticket he had received for Christmas from his partner, Rowena King, he had a rule to follow.
It was Jan. 7 and Doyle made sure to remove the Christmas tablecloth that was still on the table in their Gander home.
“I said, ‘don’t you dare scratch that ticket on the tablecloth’,” recalls King.
Whether Doyle’s adherence to the order had anything to do with what happened next can never be known, but if you suggest that it brought him good luck, it would be tough to argue.
Because when he was finished, staring back at him were all the required number of Set For Life symbols, meaning he had won the grand prize.
“I really didn’t believe it,” said Doyle. “It was a weird feeling.”
As people tend to do in these situations, Doyle checked everything twice. They even called their daughter so she could provide a fresh set of eyes for confirmation.
All agreed the numbers made Doyle a big winner.
”It is life-changing,” he said.
The ticket was a part of a bundle the couple had purchased at the lotto booth at the Gander Mall as Christmas stocking stuffers for loved ones.
King saved the last ticket for the stocking she had for Doyle.
“I can’t say how I felt,” said King of first discovering it was the winning ticket.
But she knows how it feels now.
“It feels good.”
Winners of the Set For Life grand prize are presented with a pair of options. They can choose to receive $1,000 a week for the next 25 years or take a one-time payment of $675,000. In this instance, the Gander couple elected to take the lump sum.
The decision will pay immediate dividends.
Where once they didn’t own a home, they do now. They’ve already picked out their dream house in Bay Roberts — quickly becoming a destination for jackpot winners — and have made a successful offer.
They are especially looking forward to making the move since both have family in the Conception Bay North area.
As well, their winnings will allow them to eliminate car payments; they recently purchased a new vehicle. They also have plans to purchase an RV sometime in the future.
That will allow them to do some travelling around the province.
“It could not have come at a better time,” said Doyle.
Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice