Health-care administrator wins $70K in hospital lottery

·2 min read

When Christa Wheeler-Thorne got a call saying she had won the bonus draw of the New Brunswick Hospital Home Lottery, she was so surprised she thought it was a prank.

The administrative director for women and children’s health at The Moncton Hospital said bought three tickets this year through a payroll deduction option used by some who work at the hospitals. When she got the call from a foundation president, she said she thought it might have been about a work matter and had to wrap her head around the very different news.

Proceeds from the annual Hospital Home Lottery support the CHU Dumont Foundation, Friends of The Moncton Hospital and Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation.

Wheeler-Thorne said she had seen the benefits of previous lotteries in her department’s work, such as helping to pay for a new newborn unit, and she bought tickets because she wanted to give back.

As the winner of the bonus draw, Wheeler-Thorne had the option of $70,000 cash or a new Mercedez-Benz. She chose to take the cash.

While many charities and non-profits have had trouble with fundraising in 2020, that was not the case for the hospital foundation fundraiser, whose grand prize is a 3,500-square-foot home in Rothesay and $50,000 cash.

Tickets sold out earlier than ever before, said Jeff McAloon, president and CEO of the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation.

“We’ve never sold out by the bonus draw deadline,” he said.

Some years, the lottery does not even sell out at all, he added, noting he is blown away by the generosity of New Brunswickers, especially during a difficult time for many in the province.

The total raised has not yet been finalized, but it is expected to be over $1.5 million, he said.

Funds raised have not been allocated and can be used where they are most needed whether that be for research, technology or education, he said.

The next draw is Nov 19, said McAloon, and the complete list of winners will be shared on Nov 26. Prizes range from houses to trips to cars.

Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal