Lady Luck smiles on Lab City

Ty Dunham
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One of shared winners of $30-million jackpot accepted marriage proposal the day before big win

It was an ordinary popping-of-the-question — part of the discussion as Maggie Mooney and Chris Locke were getting ready for bed on the last night of their vacation in Corner Brook, away from their sons, Michael and Hunter.

(Front row, from left) And the winners are: Maggie Mooney, Gina Dyke, Maria Terry, Calvin Campbell. (Back row, from left) David Primmer, Kelly Tricco, Paul Gasper and Jeff Billinger. They are Labrador City’s newest millionaires, accepting a $30-million cheque from Atlantic Lotto Friday after winning the Lotto Max jackpot July 5.

She said yes. No fireworks, no drama.

But the next day, that simple proposal became part of a weekend with a blockbuster finish.

Still glowing from the previous night’s conversation, Maggie flew back home alone to Labrador City on July 5 while her husband-to-be drove the company truck. Thousands of feet away from cell reception, she was the last in her family to know she was one of the eight United Rentals employees who had won the Lotto Max jackpot of $30 million.

Her son, Michael, 16, was also late to receive the news. Enjoying summer vacation sleeping in, as many teenagers do, he awoke to shouting coming from the kitchen.

The house must be on fire, he thought as he threw on clothes and ran towards the commotion, where he saw his grandmother jumping around and screaming.

“What’s going on?” he asked her.

“Your mom!” she answered. “Your mom! She won the lottery!”

Michael turned around and walked back to his bedroom.

“Wake me up when it’s something important.”

It hit him before he could lie back down in his cosy bed. Did she just say lottery?

Michael returned to his grandmother, scratching his head.

“Nan, how much did you say she won?”

His grandmother told him his mother was among the group of $30-million winners.

“$30 million?” he asked her. “Holy shit! That’s ridiculous.”

It wasn’t until the plane’s wheels touched down that Maggie turned on her cellphone, which lit up with messages from everyone she knew informing her of her winnings.

“It was overwhelming,” she said at the cheque presentation Friday in Wabush.

“I could barely walk off the plane.”

Maggie stood alongside her seven co-workers — David Primmer, Paul Gasper, Gina Dyke, Maria Terry, Kelly Tricco, Calvin Campbell and Jeff Billinger — before throngs of family and friends as they celebrated winning $3.75 million each.

The winners all have financial advisers and Maggie said while they plan to invest, they’re also planning on a bit of family fun.

“We’re leaving today to pick up two new vehicles. His birthday was last Monday so he’s getting a new Dodge Ram 2500 diesel, and a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. As soon as we come back we’ll be taking a family vacation somewhere.”

Maggie said she needs the craziness of the winnings to slow down before they talk about spending with the kids.

“I promised there would be trust funds, that’s about it. Hunter wanted to go to the store right away to buy something, because he could.”

Not having to worry about money is a good place to be, and Maggie said she and her co-workers will put it to good use.

“I think we’re all in the same boat. It’s going to help us all a tremendous amount. I’ve always wanted to stay home and raise the children, and that’s a possibility now. It’s pretty incredible.”

The winning ticket was purchased at Jubber’s Convenience in Labrador City, which will receive a one per cent seller’s prize of $300,000.

It is the second big win for Labrador West players this year. A group of eight Carol Auto Ford employees shared a $1-million prize in February.

The Aurora

Organizations: United Rentals, Jeep Grand Cherokee

Geographic location: Labrador, Lab, Wabush Labrador West

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