View Full Version : Soldiers' wives hit the Lottery!!!!!

09-13-2006, 09:48 AM
:D Good for them!!!! :D


Cheryl Coates and her friends know how to keep a $5 million lottery jackpot in perspective.

"We're soldiers' wives," Coates said yesterday after she and seven other women who work at an officers mess at CFB Petawawa came to Toronto by limousine to pick up their lottery winnings.

The army base, northwest of Ottawa, has sent about 700 soldiers to Afghanistan, and news about death and injury can come in large doses.

So word that the eight women from the base had won big in Friday's Super 7 draw was a welcome bit of good news for a close-knit military community.

Five of their own were killed recently, four during a fierce battle with Taliban fighters and one when American jets strafed Canadian soldiers.

"We can handle just about anything," said a flushed-looking Coates. "You learn to adapt and overcome."

In this case, it's going to be what to do with the $625,000 each of them took home from the jackpot. One other $5 million winner has not yet stepped forward to claim the prize for the winning ticket, which carried the numbers 5, 15, 16, 19, 41, 44 and 45.

Seven of the eight women are married to soldiers who serve out of CFB Petawawa, and two of them including Coates' husband Sgt. Neil Coates are serving in Afghanistan.

"It's been a hard, hard time, you know, when the lads left and then to hear what had happened," she said. "There were sad faces walking around, especially as the military community, but we helped put a smile on their faces for a bit and forget what's going on."

The winning ticket was part of a group purchase made every week for the past year with a personal contribution of $2 from each participant.

Once the ticket was validated at the grocery store on the base, Saturday night became a night to remember for soldiers at the Normandy officers' mess, where the women work in the kitchen and serve at military functions.

As military tradition dictates, the mess bell was rung to signify free drinks and soon about 200 officers gathered to hear the news. The arriving officers were greeted with an offer they couldn't refuse: Drinks on the house "all night long," said Bobbi-Ann Davis, another one of the winners. "It was a good night."

Yesterday, as the eight women goofed around inside the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. office on Dundas St. clutching their cheque, it was clear that this group of level-headed friends hadn't let the windfall take over their lives.

"We think it's just the right amount," said Jennifer Rhoads, 33, who is on maternity leave with her second child. "It's not so much money that you will lose all your friends and family and quit your job and do nothing with yourself."

"It's life-altering in that it will change our lifestyle, but it's not so much money that we are going to have distant relatives coming out of the woodwork," said Claudette Robinson, 39, the mother of three young boys, including 7-year-old twins.

The word not only spread around the base but all the way to CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick, where soldiers from Petawawa including Claudette's husband David, a trucker are in training to deploy to Afghanistan in February.

Robinson and others will go to Afghanistan when Neil Coates and Sgt. Denis Larade, whose wife Janice was one of the winners, return. Their wives promise not to spend all the money before they get home.

"(David) was overhearing some of his buddies talking about the rumour that a group of women had won," Claudette Robinson said.

"So he leans back and says, `Yes, my wife was one of them,' and goes back to what he was doing," she said, laughing. "He's definitely a true professional."

All of the women said they plan to continue working at the mess hall, and both Larade and Coates said their husbands won't be coming home early or quitting the army any time soon.

"Oh no, he's not quitting the army, no," Larade said. "We love our jobs."

"Right now the goal is to maintain a semblance of normalcy, try not to increase our spending habits," Rhoads said. "We hear stories about people winning a million dollars and going broke

smokey the elder
09-13-2006, 10:59 AM
What a nice story. It's good to see people like that have some luck.

09-13-2006, 12:45 PM
Woot they won!!! :D

Good on them!!! plus they said Toronto weee....! Ok not the best city but hey I gotta live here for now.... :p :rolleyes: