Taking her shot at a million

John
John Browne
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Judy English hopes to be a winner in Winnipeg

The way Judy English sees it, a free trip to Winnipeg later this month is pretty good, even if she doesn't come home with $1million.

English, 60, who is from St. John's , and British Columbia's Ron Trottier, 64, have reached the semifinals of the Capital One Million Dollar Button Contest.

Judy English of St. John's has reached the semifinals of the Capital One Million Dollar Button Contest. - Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

The way Judy English sees it, a free trip to Winnipeg later this month is pretty good, even if she doesn't come home with $1million.

English, 60, who is from St. John's , and British Columbia's Ron Trottier, 64, have reached the semifinals of the Capital One Million Dollar Button Contest.

Canada's first-ever million-dollar curling contest will take place during the final of the BDO Classic Canadian Open, the third leg of the men's 2008-09 Capital One Grand Slam of Curling series, Sunday, Jan. 25, at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.

English is a 15-year curling veteran, but she hasn't been on the ice in five years and hasn't practised since she found out she was eligible to win the big prize last week.

"I'm not a member of the St. John's Curling Club (Re/Max Centre), but if there's some free time, I'm going to ask if I can go down and throw a few rocks and get the feel of it again," she said.

English entered the contest online about a month ago, but when she got the call last week telling her she had an opportunity to throw for a million, she couldn't remember the contest and was a bit wary of the caller.

"I enter a lot of on-line contests," said English," but I thought they were kidding me or it was some sort of scam."

When she found out it was legitimate, she recalls saying: "Yahoo!"

Then she asked, "Well, what do I have to do?"

Although she curled for many years, English points out a draw to the button without sweepers isn't easy. Shooting pucks in a net for money is a lot easier, English figures.

Still, she says she probably won't feel nervous because she has nothing to lose.

"I'm absolutely excited about it. Just getting the trip and going up to watch the curling is a bonus for me," she said.

English and Trottier will compete alongside Masters of Curling qualifier Sheri Smeltzer, 24, of Fergus, Ont., The National qualifier Jean Poirier, 52, of Cap-Rouge, Que., and one final on-site qualifier from the BDO Classic Canadian Open in an attempt to cover the button for $1 million live on CBC (3:30 p.m.NT).

The on-site playoff will take place following the quarter-finals of the BDO Classic. During the on-site playoff, the fan who is closest to the button will win the right to compete in the semifinals of the Capital One Million Dollar Button.

According to the MasterCard website, in order to win the Capital One Million Dollar Button's grand prize of a one-time payment of $1 million, the contest finalist must successfully deliver a rock from the hack and have it cover the hole in the centre of the button on a regulation curling sheet. The finalist will have just one opportunity to execute the shot.

Should the finalist's rock miss covering the hole in the centre of the button, but be touching a part of the button, the individual will receive $100,000. Alternatively, $25,000 will be awarded if the rock is touching the four-foot circle.

A prize of $10,000 will be awarded if the rock is touching the eight-foot circle while a rock that touches the 12-foot circle will earn $5,000. Should the finalist's rock not touch any of the circles, the individual will receive $1,000.

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: BDO Classic Canadian Open, Capital One, MTS Centre Curling Club Max Centre Yahoo! CBC MasterCard

Geographic location: Winnipeg, St. John's, British Columbia Canada Fergus Cap-Rouge

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