Saskatoon, SK, August 9, 2017 – Many Saskatchewan STARS supporters have cause to celebrate, following the announcement of the 2017 STARS lottery prize winners yesterday.
Ryan Shordee said he had a winning feeling ever since buying his tickets, but being told he had won the Regina grand prize show home still came as a shock. “When it hit me, I started shaking and getting a bit teary eyed. I had to come home because I couldn’t even concentrate at work,” said the 33 year old father of two from Fort Qu’Appelle.
Shordee said the win will help him pay bills and gain some financial freedom. “This came at a really good time in my life.”
When Adam Cieslak, winner of the Saskatoon show home, received a call from STARS, he didn’t expect to be told he had won a grand prize. “I thought I had won a bicycle or some spending money,” said the Lipton area resident.
Cieslak said he will continue to support the STARS lottery not only because of the prizes, but because the non-profit is important to the residents of Saskatchewan. “STARS does a great service; words can hardly describe what they do in those emergency situations when time is critical.”
Andrea Robertson, president and CEO of STARS, was on hand for the exciting and often life-changing calls to the lucky winners Tuesday at the STARS Saskatoon base.
“With your steadfast support, this year’s edition of the STARS lottery ended on a very successful note,” said Robertson. “Seeing this response in the face of challenging economic times is truly remarkable. Thank you, Saskatchewan, for supporting STARS as you have for the last five years.”
One long time supporter is Bill Seymour, who won $800,000 cash in the LUCKY STARS 50-50. The Carnduff area farmer and former business owner has been buying STARS lottery tickets since the lottery’s first year and will continue to do so.
Seymour was still in disbelief hours after the news of his big win. “I’m still kind of kicking it around – it can’t hardly be right.” He said the money will likely go toward retirement and will allow him to “keep farming for a few more years.”
This year’s lottery featured 2,016 prizes worth more than $4 million retail. It finished strong with 97.5 per cent of tickets sold and raised more than $2.4 million net for the non-profit.
Denise Belman, Executive Director of the STARS Foundation, Saskatchewan said the net proceeds represent nearly 25 per cent of the funds STARS needs to raise every year to operate its Saskatoon and Regina bases. “The lottery is our largest annual fundraiser and is critical to the operation of our service for the people of the province,” said Belman.
“Everyone who bought a STARS lottery ticket should feel good, knowing they are helping give patients a second chance; keeping families and communities together.”
For general information about the STARS lottery and for a complete list of winners, which will be posted on August 11, 2017, visit starslotterysaskatchewan.ca. The lottery license number is LR16-0109.
Other top prize winners include:
STARS is a charitable, non-profit helicopter air ambulance organization that provides time, hope and life-saving support to critically ill and injured patients. Our doctors, nurses, paramedics and pilots work with a team of dedicated support staff and community partners to save lives through rapid and specialized emergency medical care and transportation. STARS operates out of six bases across Western Canada, where it has carried out more than 36,000 since 1985. STARS has flown more than 4,000 missions to over 500 communities across Saskatchewan since establishing bases in Regina and Saskatoon in 2012.