That’s the ticket

Retired Carbonear couple wins big with Set for Life

Melissa Jenkins
Published on August 14, 2014
Malcolm (Mac) and Gloria Mercer of Carbonear picked up their prize for Atlantic Lottery’s set for life Thursday at TC Square in Carbonear. —TC Media photo

Gloria Mercer of Carbonear was smiling ear-to-ear Thursday when she and her husband Malcolm were announced as the winners of Atlantic Lottery’s Set for Life.

Malcolm, known as Mac, laughed as he told the story of how he won one of five grand prizes on the scratch ticket he purchased one week prior.

The retired couple visited the Trinity Conception Square shopping centre on Aug. 7 so Gloria could get her hair done.

Mac had about 45 minutes to waste, so he took a walk through the mall to get a cup of tea and a few scratch tickets.

Little did Mac know, that short walk would change the couple’s life.

When he scratched the Set for Life ticket, he told the employee at the lotto booth he thought he’d “won big.”

Friend Mary Hurley, who was nearby and heard the news, told Gloria of the win as she approached the booth. Mac was on the phone with the Atlantic Lottery Corp. in Moncton, N.B.

Win was a ‘relief’

When asked how they felt after the reality of the win finally sunk in, Mac said, “relief.”

The couple moved to Carbonear eight years ago after Mac retired from his job of 36 years as an operator at the Churchill Falls power station in Labrador.

Mac and Gloria chose the lump sum option of $675,000, instead of the $1,000 a week for 25 years. They were happy to know they’d have financial security for the coming years.

Susan Chislett, the Mercers’ daughter, and her family were visiting from Churchill Falls when they learned of the win.

“I was in St. John’s with (my daughter) shopping for back-to-school, when Mom called,” Susan said after the cheque presentation. “I told her that it wasn’t a very nice joke.”

But she soon learned the win was no joke.

Her brother, Stephen, who lives in Toronto, was scheduled to arrive in Newfoundland Wednesday with his family. The Atlantic Lottery Corp. held off on the announcement until Thursday to allow Stephen and his family to be a part of the presentation.

The whole family gathered at the TC Square, along with aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

It was a happy time for Gloria and Mac.

No plans yet

When asked what they will do with the money, they had no set plans.

“We don’t travel,” Mac said.

“Maybe we’ll go to Toronto or Churchill Falls more often,” Gloria smiled.

Susan and Stephen say their parents deserve this win.

“They paid for (post-secondary) schooling for me and my brother,” Susan explained.

She said they can now live their retired life stress-free.