A trip to BC Children’s Hospital for treatment of their baby son turned into a desire to support the hospital through buying annual lottery tickets.
That desire to “give back” to the children’s hospital and the work that they do, has turned into a wonderful windfall for one local family.
Lana McKenzie, of Comox, was the grand prize winner in this year’s BC Children’s Hospital Foundation Choices Lottery.
Her winning ticket number was drawn Thursday, May 4 on the Global TV noon news hour.
Lana, husband Shannon Dumbleton, and their children Jackson, 6, and Cooper, 2 ½, won’t be moving into the Crown Isle home, though, that was one of the six featured homes in this year’s Choices draw.
Instead, they’ll take the seventh prize available – $2.2 million.
“The cash is the better option for what we’re looking for right now,” Lana said.
Although Lana thought the Crown Isle home was “beautiful”, logistically it was a bit on the small size for their family.
They had already purchased a home that they love in Comox after moving here last year from Pemberton, and they’ll use the lottery windfall to finish paying the mortgage off and adding some upgrades such as kitchen countertops and a bigger patio door.
Most importantly, the lottery win gives the family more time to be together. Shannon is a heavy equipment operator and is in camp most of the time up north at Dawson Creek. He’s going to quit that job and look into other opportunities locally.
Lana intends to reward her husband, with a boat. He had to sell his snowmobile to help cover moving expenses from Pemberton. But he’s always wanted a boat, having grown up on the shores of the St. Lawrence River near Ganonoque, Ontario, and loving everything to do with boating, fishing and the water.
“He’s not someone who can just sit around.”
For Lana, the lottery win means the kids will have their dad at home more. And they can stop the expensive daycare and after-school care juggling act.
“We were making it work, but it’s a struggle,” she said. “There’s not so much pressure now”.
Lana works at Courtenay city hall on a ‘casual’ basis, but her hours keep growing at the busy office. She had previously worked four years at the Village of Pemberton office.
The family decided to move from Pemberton because they couldn’t afford to upgrade from a townhouse to a single family home there. Lana had been brought up in Victoria and has family on the Island. The Comox airport made it easier for her husband to commute to his camp job. And the house prices were much lower than in the Pemberton area.
Plus, the Valley attracted with its wide range of facilities and programs for kids – ice arenas, swimming pools and a great hockey program.
“We wanted better opportunities for our kids,” Lana said.
The $2.2 million lottery win is perfect for the young family.
“It’s manageable. It makes us comfortable. It gives us time with the kids. That’s so valuable,” she said.
As for the youngest son who was treated with surgery for an enlarged kidney at BC Children’s Hospital?
“He’s a thriving, charming little boy,” said Lana, who couldn’t praise BC Children’s enough for their “wonderful” staff.
As a result, Lana and her husband committed to buying tickets on and supporting the hospital’s lottery each year.
“It couldn’t have been a better organization to support,” she said. “The hospital was so wonderful … everybody gives just wonderful care there. We just wanted to give back to the hospital.”