Updated: Kentville couple win big lotto prize

Jennifer Vardy Little jlittle@kingscountynews.ca
Published on June 27, 2014

Jeff Ross almost didn’t buy a ticket that’s left him Set for Life.

Jeff and his wife, Marion, often pick up a Set for Life ticket when they buy their gas. When the cashier at T.J.’s Convenience in Coldbrook pulled out the old series of tickets, however, Jeff almost decided not to buy it.

“I asked her, ‘are you sure there are still some major prizes left?’ She said yes, she was sure, and they were still valid, so I said ‘Yes, sure, I’ll have them’,” Jeff said.

The couple didn’t scratch the tickets immediately. They have a nice tradition, Jeff says – they sit down in the morning, Jeff with his coffee, Marion with her tea, and read the paper, scratching away. Somewhere between the front page and the comics on June 26, the Kentville couple had a winner.

“We were absolutely struck dumb,” said Marion. “Jeff immediately phoned Moncton and they said yes, congratulations, you are winners.”

It turned out that the couple had won the final of the five big prizes in that old series of tickets Jeff had almost rejected. Atlantic Lottery Corporation had left the tickets in the stores while they awaited their final winner.

“Everybody was waiting for it, for someone to win it,” said Marion.

They kept the news quiet at first, confiding only in their financial planner. They drove to Moncton and were at the Atlantic Lottery Corporation first thing in the morning on June 27 to claim their prize. From there, they called Jeff’s 94-year-old mother and their daughter, who resides in Kingsport.

“They’re excited for us – we waited until we got here and knew it really was true before we told them,” Marion said.

Kentville, she said, seems to be a pretty lucky place. The couple lives near the Snack Shack, where workers were presented with their winnings from a $15.2 million Lotto ticket exactly a year before Jeff and Marion won.

“Kentville does seem to be lucky – maybe the whole Valley is lucky,” Marion added.

The top prize in a Set for Life scratch ticket is either a $1,000 per week for 25 years or a lump sum payment of $675,000. Jeff and Marion opted to take the lump sum.

“It’s going straight into the bank,” said Marion, adding that they plan to invest the funds.

“We have an almost new car, we don’t really need anything. We are going on a river cruise this summer, though, in Europe.”

The win, added Jeff, left them both shocked and ecstatic.

“It’s a comfortable feeling,” he added. “We really are Set for Life now. If we watch our investments, we’ll have the money to do what we want, when we want.”