Whether you call it beginner’s luck or simply a dream come true, Andrew Newbould is still pinching himself to make sure his recent win is real. After buying his first tickets for the QEII Home lottery last fall, he came away the winner of the grand prize show home in Timberlea, N.S.
Sitting in his $1.2-million, fully-furnished house in Brunello Estates, Andrew couldn’t be happier.
“I bought a ticket because it goes to a good cause,” he says. “I didn’t expect to win anything.”
After buying a package of five tickets online, he forgot about them, until one evening when he was at home in his Dartmouth condo, and he received a call from Bill Bean, president and CEO of the QEII Foundation.
Andrew, who works for the Department of Fisheries, said his cell phone did not stop ringing.
“Everyone has been so happy for me.”
One of the QEII Foundation’s best-known fundraisers, the QEII Home and QEII Lifestyles lotteries not only provide Nova Scotians with the chance to win a million-dollar home, a $500,000 cottage on the lake, a luxury car or a $100,000 cash prize, but the millions of dollars raised through ticket sales help strengthen patient care throughout the QEII Health Sciences Centre.
“The need for funding continues to grow,” says Bean.
The QEII Foundation and the Nova Scotia government work together to fund equipment priorities for the QEII Health Sciences Centre; the QEII Foundation commits to funding either 25 or 100 per cent of all capital equipment in the QEII. The lotteries are an essential part in allowing the Foundation to extend its reach to all Nova Scotians and meet funding goals. In 2013, the QEII Lifestyles and the QEII Home lotteries together raised more than $4 million for the QEII.
“Lottery income is instrumental in funding new equipment, research and patient care,” says Bean.
More than $44 million has been raised since the lotteries started in 2003. These proceeds have gone towards various initiatives, including the QEII’s priority equipment. The money raised has supported care in all of the QEII’s 11 buildings at the Halifax Infirmary and Victoria General sites.
Besides the QEII’s priority equipment, the lotteries have helped to fund everything from the Cancer Care program’s new radiation unit, to CT scanners, patient monitors, endowed research chairs, a PET scanner and the blanket warmers used to comfort patients throughout their stay at the QEII. Today, funds from the current lottery will help bring back the therapeutic pool at the QEII’s Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre, fund the QEII Foundation Transforming Research Into Care (TRIC) grants and establish an Endowed Research Chair in Palliative Care, among many other patient care initiatives.
“There is not one family in Nova Scotia that hasn’t been touched by the QEII, or will be in the future,” says Bean. “The lotteries are one part of how the QEII Foundation is ensuring Atlantic Canadians have the best care possible in the community.”
Held twice a year, in spring and fall, the lotteries are run like a business. Ensuring that the lotteries are self sufficient, no donated money is ever used to run them. Each lottery campaign begins with the Foundation applying for a license from the province’s Alcohol and Gaming division. After the tickets are sold, prizes are bought from local businesses and suppliers. In general, forty per cent of the money raised through ticket sales is used to buy the prizes, which then go back to people in the community, 30 per cent is used for lottery operations (including ticket sales, staff at the show home and advertising) and the remaining 30 per cent goes back to improve health care at the QEII Health Sciences Centre.
When prizes are drawn, Deloitte, an accounting firm that oversees all operations by the QEII lotteries, is on-site to ensure everything is done in an ethical, compliant and transparent manner. Starting with the thousands of small prizes, they work their way up to the big wins, with every player eligible for the grand prize.
“You have the best odds of winning in our lotteries, in comparison to any of the other lotteries in the province,” says Bean.
As a registered charity, the QEII Foundation files a charitable return to Canada Revenue Agency every year. To ensure the process meets all ethical standards, Deloitte does the ticketing for the lotteries.
“It’s a highly regulated social enterprise and we are very proud of what our lotteries have achieved for the QEII,” says Bean.