Airdronians win Foothills Hospital Home Lottery
Thursday, May 30, 2013 11:33 am
Robin Harkness has been buying lotto tickets from the Foothills Hospital Home Lottery for more than 10 years. He had never won anything – never even a gift card, clock radio or lawnmower.
But on May 22, the Airdrie resident got a call saying he had won $887,922.
“We thought it was a friend making a joke,” Harkness said.
The Harkness family has been motivated to buy tickets from the Foothills lottery in order to support a good cause. But that motivation was strengthened last year when their 12-year-old daughter Kailee was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect.
A congenital heart defect is a defect in the structure of the heart, present since birth. Some defects in children require complicated surgery over a number of years.
Kailee was sent to the cardiology ward at Foothills Hospital and had to be sent for open-heart surgery in Edmonton. About three months later, Kailee recovered and now is in full health and attends Meadowbrook Middle School.
The family, relieved and grateful to the doctors and surgeons who operated on Kailee, were then understandably pleased to see proceeds from this year’s lottery would go to benefit cardiology services at Foothills Hospital.
“What we went through last year was pretty hard,” Harkness said. “But the system was unbelievable and we were treated really well.”
The family was in the mindset of just supporting a good cause, so receiving a call that they had won the lottery was shocking.
“It was awesome. It’s tough to absorb,” Harkness said. “It’s not a life-changing amount, but it is a game-changing amount.”
The Harkness family has kids who are close to graduating and are planning on using most of the money for their schooling as well as for an early retirement. And, maybe, Harkness added, there may be a new car in the future.
“It’s slowly sinking in,” Harkness said. “Slowly.”