Stories from Bay Treasure Chest Winners


December 27, 2018: Lara Cooke wins $34,324 with #14610

Lara recently moved to Ontario for work, but says, “I love St. Margaret’s Bay…. This [win] makes a big difference in my life. Thank you so much.” Lara picked up her cheque at the Community Enterprise Centre, Upper Tantallon; she is shown with CEC volunteer Ryan Pilmer.


December 5, 2018: Meg Sims wins $44,0459 with #4214

Meg Sims with her parents, James and Mary-Ellen Sims, getting the cheque from Treasure Chest volunteer Alana Zeigler. Meg is sharing her funds with her parents.

Meg Sims of Hubbards missed the call at suppertime when Treasure Chest director Gwen Colman called to tell her that her BTC number 4214 had been drawn today. Gwen left a message but when Meg was listening to it, the call was dropped, the message deleted. Oh so close! She then sent an email to Bay Treasure Chest, following up with a voice message and a message via Messenger. Had she heard correctly?

Within a few minutes Gwen called Meg back and confirmed her win of $44,045–the highest Treasure Chest win to date!

“There are four of us who play,” says Meg. “Me, my sister and our parents. We sometimes take turns playing for each other and this time my parents played for me.”

Despite the shock evident in her voice, Meg doesn’t hesitate to answer the inevitable question: “What will she do with the money?”

“I’m going to give half to my parents,” she says.

“Is that the arrangement you have, that you take turns playing and you’ll share the spoils?”

“Not necessarily,” she replies “But as many people would understand, it’s a rough time of year. To share it is better than to keep it all for myself.”

Otherwise, she notes that she and her husband, Jack–just married last summer–have a rent-to-own contract where they live; some of the funds will be used for the deposit required in February so they can own their first home.

As for Christmas? “I am usually a make it myself kind of person for presents, but this year might be a little different,” Meg says.

November 7, 2018: Andrew Mason wins $10,359 with #22459

Andrew Mason, left, of Upper Tantallon gets his cheque from BTCA director Harry Ward at Superstore, where he played his winning number. When BTC revealed the winner’s name on Facebook there were at least two very disappointed individuals named Andrew Mason.

“I know, there are a few Andrew Masons in the Bay!” says Andrew. “I was home when I found out I won. I was flying to Indianapolis the next day to visit my brother, busy packing. I saw a couple of missed calls on my phone, then checked my BTC email, and saw the winner listed as “Andrew??”. And then the number: 22459. So I called my parents to double check– probably half the weeks they put the toonie in for me.

“My mom has played for a number of years. They weren’t doing well in February, so I basically moved out there for a month and a half, playing for them while I was there, and then thought, ‘I might as well play myself.’

“I was surprised when it finally dawned on me that I won!

“I haven’t really had time to think about what I’ll do with the money. Christmas is right around the corner… some people are going to be bugging me for gifts now,” he says, laughing.

“Otherwise, I also have a brother who lives in London, England, so I’ll probably plan a trip to visit him.”

Happy trails to Andrew Mason.

October 31, 2018: Rachel Myers wins $21,271 with # 21987

Rachel, left, with BTCA director Ruth Ann Moger at Lefty’s, where she played her winning number. The email that went out to all players with draw results on the evening of the draw merely said “Rachel ??” given BTC had been unable to reach her; winners are contacted before their details are released.

“I was talking to my partner and said, ‘I didn’t check the email this morning. I’ll check it as soon as I go in [to work.] We might be the winner.’ But I say that every Thursday morning.

Then I seen “Rachel ??” and thought, could it be me, could it be me?

My partner said, ‘Well how do they contact you,’ and I said ‘OMG I got a new phone number!’

I was jumping up and down, almost crying. I was shaking. I never win anything in my life.

One of my daughters is in nursing in Dal so I have to help her out, and there are some debts to pay off. Otherwise, I’m buying a new pair of boots!! And I’ll have no worries about Christmas this year either: I have three teenagers: in university, grade 12, grade 11; all girls.

I usually stop to play on a Tuesday night and I almost forgot this week. But I thought, if I don’t play, that’s when they’re going to pull my number.”

October 17, 2018: MIke Lancaster wins $10,448 with # 7275

Mike Lancaster, right, at Redmond’s where he played his winning toonie, with staffer (and friend) Alicia Tarbox. “When possible, we buy local; the Stewardship Association gets its supplies from Redmond’s for the islands’ stewardship program, such as axe handles, work gloves, carpentry equipment,” Mike says. “They’ve donated bags to us in the past for some of the garbage pick we’ve done.”

Talk about personal gain; community loss…

Says Mike: “I’ve been playing since day 1 (my first number is 52). Winning didn’t really seem like something that would happen—and I wasn’t counting on it happening—but I still play three numbers.

“I was working from home when I got the call yesterday. It was quite the turn-around from the council vote from the night before. I’ve been pretty active in the campaign against rezoning of some of the former Mersey lands [located approx. 1 km northwest of Hwy 103, and 1.5 km west of Little Indian, Head of St. Margaret’s Bay] and the approval of the asphalt plant there, which will now go ahead.

“I and other members of the Stewardship Assoc have been working on getting that area turned into a community forest and a protected area. To have that loss was pretty brutal,” he says.

Back to his winnings of $10,448.

“I just bought my first home, in Hubley. There’s no shortage of ways to contribute to the mortgage or improvements,” he says. “I moved to the Bay when I was 12…. I plan on being here for the long haul.”

October 10, 2018: Barry Sawler wins $21,190 with # 13011

Winner Barry Sawler (left) with BTCA director Harry Ward at Superstore.

Shown here is Barry Sawler of Boutiliers Point getting a cheque from BTCA director Harry Ward at Superstore, where Barry plays his toonie.  “I don’t have a routine of when I play,” Barry says. “But I don’t forget either.”

When he got the call Barry was at Tim Hortons with his buddies, about to take his first gulp. “I thought it was a joke,” he says. “I never win anything.”

Says Harry: “We agreed on a time to meet at the Superstore and while I was at the entrance, telling everybody that I was waiting for the BTC winner, Barry was in at the service desk telling everybody he thought someone was playing a joke on him. Finally after waiting a while I called him and sure enough he was inside.”

Says Barry: “My wife, Ginette, cried a little when she found out. When you’re retired, you only have a set amount of money to go around. We’ve got bills to pay. And if there’s any left over it will go toward laces for sneakers.”

September 26, 2018: Lisa Nickerson wins $10,308 with #10341

Lisa Nickerson (right) at the SMB Community Enterprise Centre in Upper Tantallon, picking up her cheque for $10,308. With her is CEC volunteer Ryan Pilmer, happy to share the moment. The CEC was founded and is supported by several BTCA partners.

Lisa Nickerson of Brookfield, NS, won $10,308 with her number 10341 on September 26. She says she picked up the message on her phone, then said to her husband in disbelief, “I think I might have won the Bay Treasure Chest.” Although he didn’t know she was even playing, he had a ready reply: “Really. Well, I think you should call back,” he said.

Lisa and her sister both work for Halifax Water, and registered BTC numbers in 2015 along with co-workers when they were on strike. “I’ve won $100 before,” says Lisa. “This is a little more than that!”

Her sister, who lives in Fox Point, plays for both of them at Hubbards Pharmasave. The new-found funds are earmarked for new flooring in the basement, maybe a vacation. Plus: a few dollars may have found their way to the sister as well.

September 19, 2018: Joan Pippy wins $31,945 with #23062

BTCA director Fred Dolbel with winner Joan Pippy back where Joan played her winning toonie, D&Jos. Not a bad exchange… $2 for $31,945!

Here, Joan Pippy gets her cheque from BTCA director Fred Dolbel at D&Jo’s Country Market in Timberlea, where Joan played her winning toonie.

Joan says she hadn’t played for the previous two weeks, but with her daughter’s insistence she played for last week’s draw.

She seemed to have had double good luck to both decide to play on September 19 and then to win as well!

Fred said he heard the refrain “Oh my gosh” ‘ about 20 times when he finally made contact with Joan late Wednesday evening to tell her the good news.

August 29, 2018: Mark Richard wins $10,062 with #1898

Mark Richard (L) holds his August 29 winner’s cheque for $10,062 with BTC retailer Colin Glover. Young Mason Richard (centre) is a little bit shy.

Some people apparently have routines when it comes to playing their Bay Treasure Chest toonies. Some print out labels with their numbers for them a month at a time, some put them in baggies stashed in the car’s glove compartment. Some play on a specific day at the same location; others make a point to play multiple numbers at different locations.

Then there’s the August 29th winner, Mark Richard, who won $10,062 with his number #1898.

When he picked up his winner’s cheque he said, “my wife reminds me time after time to play my toonie. I tend to forget!”

A few reminders never hurt.

The day he played his lucky toonie, Mark had a series of stops. First to Billy Joe’s Automotive to pick up tires for his car, then to the bank to get $20, then over to the gas station to buy a drink — to get a toonie in change — then to Redmond’s to deposit said toonie.

Clearly, this is a man on the move. However: his windfall of $10,062 may help. “We’re in the middle of house renovations: knocking out walls etc,” says the Head of St. Margarets Bay resident, noting that he has done handyman stuff in the past. “This cash will help pay for a new kitchen; we’ll use a contractor.” There are still chickens to feed and other tasks to keep him occupied on the home front.

August 22, 2018: Michelle Pike wins $10,053 with #23771

Winner, Michelle Pike (right) with her daughter Miranda (left).

Michelle Pike, who won $10,053 with her Bay Treasure Chest number 23771 on August 22, moved to Middle Sackville with her husband and daughter close to two years ago after Fort Mac wildfires forced Eddie to look for work at the Halifax Shipyards.

“We were living in Sydney, Cape Breton, at the time,” says Michelle, noting that Eddie would stay in Alberta working for several months at a time.

Meanwhile, while Eddie goes to where the work is, the couple’s 20-year-old daughter, Miranda, has created her own niche: she owns a children’s entertainment company called “Little Princess Parties Halifax“ where she sews costumes, with 50 characters to date.

With her BTC winnings, Michelle plans on continuing to help daughter her financially with her business to make it an ongoing success.

August 15, 2018: Holson Etienne wins $10,163 with #11991

Harry Ward with Holson Etienne. “I thought he had the wrong number,” says Holson.

When Holson Etienne, of Hubley, got a phone message from BTC director Harry Ward on August 15, he was sure Harry had the wrong number. Just to be really sure, Holson called him back to tell him so.

“Harry asked me if I played Bay Treasure Chest, and I said yes… then he asked me what my number was and I told him,” he says, laughing. “Fortunately it’s an easy number to remember: 11991!”

Perhaps coincidentally, Holson’s wife was in the bank depositing money at the time. She looked out and wondered why he was dancing around the car.

What will he do with his winnings of $10,163? “In French we have a saying about sleeping on something, and making a decision tomorrow. That’s what I’m going to do,” says the French immersion teacher.

August 8, 2018: Susan Waye wins $31,398 with #18913

Susan Waye receiving her winner’s cheque from BTCA director Ruth Ann Moger at D&Jos Country Store, where she played her winning toonie.

Susan Waye says she can’t say that she’s never won anything. After all, the Timberlea resident took home $31,398 on August 8 with her Bay Treasure Chest number 18913.

Maybe luck runs in her family?

“Thirty or 35 years ago my mother won $1,000 in a lottery – that was probably the equivalent to what I won today,” she says. “This was in the day of the lay-away. She put a partial payment down to get a fur coat, a dishwasher, and a car. No doubt she went into debt to pay off the remainder… I’m going to try not to do that!”

Still, she said her car needs some work. She and her husband bought a cabin in the woods last year and they plan on using some of the money to spruce it up. Otherwise, she says, “we’re just average citizens. We’ll pay some bills; maybe go on a nice trip; this and that.

“I’ve been watching where the Bay Treasure Chest money goes in the community,” she says, adding that in one instance she made a donation of goods to Animal Rescue Coalitions Nova Scotia, one of BTC’s weekly honorarium groups whereby a non-profit is given a $500 honorarium in exchange for providing four volunteers to help count toonies on a Wednesday.

“This is not just about what you can win,” Susan says.

July 18, 2018: Amber Marriott wins $9,940 with #19768

When Amber Marriott got the call on July 18 telling her she won $9,940 with her number 19768 she happened to be at the Calgary Zoo with two of her kids. After she hung up she says she found a park bench and started to cry. “A passerby came over and asked if I was okay, and was about to give me a hug. I looked up at her and said I just won some money!”

Amber says she splits her year between two homes, Calgary and Boutiliers Point, for family and work reasons.

“I started playing the Bay Treasure Chest in the summers when we are home in Boutiliers Point,” she says, “hoping it would help us come home more often!” Her dad, perhaps hoping the same thing, plays for her when she is not here.

“My kids 2, 6 and 13 will enjoy getting a little spoiled; this will also help with my eldest going to cadet camp in Whitehorse, me going back to college, and back to school expenses generally.” And with a bit of luck, there will be some left over for a visit home.

All smiles! Amber with Remmy Marriott-Ogundipe and Neriah Marriott-Ogundipe.

July 11, 2018: Elizabeth Power wins $10,038 with #9358

Elizabeth Power was driving home after going to a movie on the evening of Wednesday, July 11, when a friend called her. The BTCA directors had not been able to notify that day’s winner, but did say that it was someone from Westwood Hills. Her friend was jokingly calling to ask Elizabeth if it was her.

She hurried to her home (in Westwood Hills), found the winning number on the BTC website, and called just before 10pm to have the win confirmed.

Elizabeth says that her husband, Ken, always played BTC to win, whereas she just played to play. “Ken passed away just before Christmas last year,” she says. “Of course I am thrilled to win, but it’s a little bittersweet….”

She plans to spend her winnings on home renovations and a holiday with her daughters.

Shown above: Elizabeth Power, with her BTC cheque, where she plays her toonie every week –Redmond’s Home Hardware. Elizabeth says she’s impressed by the amount of money BTC raises for the community, and is encouraging one of her daughters to play as well. (Cheque hand-over and photo by BTCA director Heather Cochrane.)

July 4, 2018: Michelyn Hawco wins $42,673 with #18589

Shown far left is the biggest BTC winner yet, Michelyn Hawco, with Joanne Ewasiuk of D&Jo’s Country Market, in Timberlea — just around the corner from where Michelyn works, and where she plays her toonies. Michelyn, who says she plays two BTC numbers and almost retired the winning number, plans to splurge by taking her husband and kids to Las Vegas to visit family. Although she says she “never wins anything,” maybe her luck will continue at the casinos!

Michelyn, left, with Joanne Ewasiuk of D&Jo’s Country Market, in Timberlea.

June 6, 2018: Liz Robertson wins $9,795 with #2781

Liz Robertson, of Stillwater Lake, is all smiles as she acknowledges a commonly heard sentiment: “I can’t remember if, or where, I play each week,” she says, adding that she doesn’t always play at the same place . Still, no doubt she’s glad she did in fact play this week, as are her three daughters, who she’ll share her windfall with. “What a pleasure, to give to people,” says Liz. “And how exciting for me to get that call!” Liz says she will also put some of the money towards a three-week trip home to Aberdeen, in northeast Scotland, for her and her husband next month. “The money will be well spent,” she adds.


BTC volunteer Fred Dolbel with winner Liz Robertson at Redmond’s, where Liz played her winning toonie.

May 30, 2018: Charlene Cheverie wins $20,022 with #2809

A Family Affair! Charlene Cheverie and three family members play as a team with four numbers every week. The person who wins gets 50% of the prize; the rest is divided between the three other members.

What will Charlene, who lives in Timberlea, do with her winnings?

“I’m giving my son a laptop, since he is going to university next year, and my daughter and son-in-law are getting money, as an anniversary gift,” she says, keeping the money in the family. “And I’m paying off debt with the rest.”

“I don’t really consider myself lucky, but I did win lobster one time!”

Charlene Cheverie is flanked by her dad and brother, Allan Cirtwell and Blair Cirtwell, at D & Jos Country Market where the winning toonie was played. Her aunt who is out west is the fourth member of the family team.

May 16, 2018: Mark Dauphinee wins $9,757 with #1865

On May 16 Mark Dauphinee, of Boutiliers Point, got lucky with his Bay Treasure Chest number 1865, netting him the sum of $9,757. “I’m happy to win,” says Mark, noting that a little windfall always comes in handy. Of course, family members may be of the same opinion. “The Dauphinees have been in this area for a few generations now,” says Mark. “I have a lot of cousins and uncles… when I run into them, they’ll say, ‘Was that you who won?’”

No, not me… it’s all lies, he says he tells them.

Still, with some of his cash he and his wife hope to visit siblings out West late summer.

Susan Futter, who lives out West and won the princely sum of $42,091 with her number 9778 on May 9, plans to share some of her winnings with her sister in Stillwater Lake, who plays on Susan’s behalf. As well, Susan is planning to come home East this summer.

“One thing about the Bay Treasure Chest is that you see results in the community,” says Mark. “On the trails for example you see plaques, and there are new bridges.

“Bay Treasure Chest builds bridges in the community, he adds” And with the Maritime diaspora across the country, east to west, beyond.

Shown above: Mark Dauphinee with Shelley Glover at Redmond’s, where Mark played his winning toonie.

May 9, 2018: Susan Futter wins $42,091 with #9778

Susan Futter, who lives out West and won the princely sum of $42,091 with her number 9778 on May 9, plans to share some of her winnings with her sister in Stillwater Lake, who plays on Susan’s behalf. As well, Susan is planning to come home East this summer.

April 11, 2018: Keith Janes wins $19,178 with #852

“Paying bills is the name of the game,” says Keith Janes of his winnings on April 11. Originally from Newfoundland, Keith worked out west for 25 years and has been back in Atlantic Canada for three years, now living in Glen Haven, trying to make a go of it. “This will go a long way,” he says. “I might even treat myself a little bit. It’s been a while.”

Shown left: Keith Janes with BTCA volunteer Fred Dolbel.


March 28, 2018: John Currie wins $9,427 with #8800

When the John Currie was asked recently if he sees himself as a lucky person, his response was: “No.” But when his wife played his number this week, as she does most weeks, she happened to mention to the store clerk present that she felt lucky. “That’s what they all say,” was the jovial response. Right. What will the Hammonds Plains couple do with their winnings of $9,427. “Pay the bills,” says John.

Shown left: BTCA volunteer Harry Ward hands cheque to John Currie.

March 21, 2018: Heather Cochrane wins $19,193 with #4

Heather Cochrane, who, as you might guess from her number, has been playing Bay Treasure Chest from the beginning – and steadily, for four years – without giving a second thought about actually winning. It’s hard to hard to convey disbelief and happiness, says the Glen Haven resident. “Thank you. Such a great surprise… I plan to share some of the winnings, undertake a project that has been on the wish list and maybe use some for travel – will send postcards!” Right on.

March 7, 2018: Mary Graves wins $9,470 with #20779

Mary Graves, of Halifax, says she’ll share a little love with her granddaughter, who seems to have a magic touch. “She played my winning toonie for me this week at the Whale’s Back,” says Mary, noting that her daughter, who lives in East Dover, has been playing BTC for a few years, which is why she decided to play as well. Otherwise, Mary says she needs to consider carefully what to do with her winnings. “When you’re on a fixed income having a little cushion is a good thing,” she added.

February 28, 2018: Linda Boutilier wins $19,332 with #13409

Linda Boutilier had her windfall of $19,332 earmarked for a new car, given her old car recently broke down. If you see a lucky lady cruising around Upper Tantallon in a new set of wheels, it just might be Linda.

Linda Boutilier (far left) receives her cheque from Alana Ziegler, GPI Youth, part of the BTC’s Bay Youth Hub.




February 14, 2018: Julie Bremner wins $39,587 with #10252

When Julie Bremner’s number was drawn on Feb 14th, BTC’s Fred Dolbel left a few messages on her voicemail, following up with an email. With 8pm approaching he then called Julie’s sister, Virginia – a former BTC volunteer – to see if she could help. Virginia offered to jump in her car to find her.

“I was scared when I saw Virginia at the door,” says Julie, who was having supper at her sweetie’s. “I wondered if something was wrong!”

Then Virginia revealed the good news. “We were jumping up and down, crying,” Julie says. She called Fred back around 8:15pm, at which time Julie’s name was announced as the winner.

Upon receiving her cheque for $39,587 the next morning, Julie recounted how, when she went to Redmond’s Hardware to play, she actually left without playing, going down the road a ways before realizing she still had her (winning) toonie with her. Lucky for her that she returned and deposited her toonie in the chest.

What will she do with her newfound funds? “People keep asking me that,” she says. “I’m on cloud nine and not thinking too clearly.” Still, Julie goes on to say, “I have four children… a priority was to give them some cash. They were shocked, saying, ‘Mom, you don’t need to do this.’

“Yes, I do,” she said, noting that, as a single parent, there were some tough times. We share the wealth, the good times, too, she added.

Julie Bremner (above left) holds her February 14 winner’s cheque for $39,587 with Virginia Tucker, her sister.

January 17, 2018: Angela Sawler wins $8,732 with #15292

When Hubley resident Angela Sawler found out she won $8,732 she exclaimed, “OMG!  I don’t believe it!”

The 50/50 aspect of the lottery has double meaning for her; she plays two numbers, with the promise of splitting the windfall with her mom if she wins.

Angela says her BTC win will help to replace shingles lost from her roof during the December wind storm… and her mom? She’s saving most of her winnings for a rainy day.

Angela Sawler (left) receives her cheque from BTC volunteer Elaine Brooks.

January 10, 2018: Elaine MacKay wins $8,911 with #19924

“Storm repairs wiped out the holiday fund,” says Elaine, of Black Point. “This money will go back into that fund.”

January 3, 2018: Marlane Campbell wins $16,879 with #3467

When Marlane Campbell’s phone rang on the evening of January 3, she said, “That’ll either be my friend, or it will be Bay Treasure Chest!” Her husband answered the phone, handed it to her and said, “It’s Bay Treasure Chest.”

Of course, I thought he was joking, Marlane says. “So I was a little shocked to learn it actually was Bay Treasure Chest. And to think I almost forgot to play that week,” she adds. “I played on my way to the gym the night before.”

Exercise and money… not a bad start to the new year!

The Hubley resident won $16,879 with her number 3467; funds will help her son with his Information Technology studies at NSCC, and help pay for the Eastern Caribbean cruise she’s going on in February.

Shown above: Marlane (left) receives her winner’s cheque from Alana Ziegler, GPI Youth.


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