Ottawa Senators Foundation 50/50 Lottery Winner's Stories

Every game, the Ottawa Senators Foundation awards one lucky fan thousands of dollars through its 50/50 lottery program. Everyone who buys a ticket can feel good about knowing that their purchase helps make a positive, lasting difference for the children and youth in our community.

For forty-four nights a year, the Ottawa Senators will have 40 to 80 volunteers selling 50/50 tickets at each Senators home game. This group includes retirees, students, adults, various community groups and businesses who want to do something to help. And help they do. As a result of their dedication, the Ottawa Senators Foundation has been able to provide more than $500,000 to charitable organizations across the region this season. Just as exciting was the opportunity to also award fans with more than $500,000 in winnings.

The 50/50 program wouldn’t be able to make such a substantial contribution without the generosity and support of our fans. Thousands of people each season will purchase tickets hoping to see their numbers come up. The Ottawa Senators Foundation followed up with some past winners to see how their winnings have changed their lives, here are their stories:

For some people, a big 50/50 win could not come at a better time. When a major event is about to occur, that extra money can be a huge help. Johnny Harlovich had a baby on the way when he won $8,880 at the September 27th, 2008 Ottawa Senators game, so his win was perfectly timed. He used his winnings towards baby-related expenses.

James Simpson of Ottawa won $11,320. James wasn’t planning to attend the game when a friend gave him tickets. At first he was reluctant to accept the invite as he lives in the east end and didn’t want to drive to Kanata. But James and his girlfriend are sure glad they did. With his winnings, they have since gone on a Caribbean vacation, did a pension buy back and bought a pair of Ottawa Senators half-season tickets.

Luck was certainly on Charles “Del” Gibson’s side when he won the 50/50 jackpot at the Ottawa Senators game. Del, a season seat holder here at Canadian Tire Centre, only purchases 50/50 tickets about half of the time. On this fateful day, however, he saw a seller wearing his lucky number and could not resist purchasing tickets. When he realized he had won, he could not believe his eyes; he had to verify the win with those around him, including his wife and friends of his who are fellow season seat holders. When it finally sunk in, Del decided to watch the rest of the game since the money was not going anywhere, and afterwards happily collected $11,650. His first purchase was a beautiful sapphire, ruby, and diamond ring for his wife, but he has since used some of the money to treat himself. Every year, he goes on a motorcycle trip, and used his 50/50 winnings to fund this annual trip, riding off to Wyoming, British Columbia, and Alberta.

Christina Czorny of Nepean won $14,440. Christina is a longtime Senators season-seat holder and regular purchaser of 50/50 tickets. Upon realizing she had won, she was in complete shock. With her new-found wealth, she purchased a new big screen television and took her family to Disney World.

Fred Chartrand of Kanata doesn’t usually buy 50/50 tickets, but decided to take part in memory of a friend who purchased 50/50 tickets regularly. When he learned he won a $13,465 jackpot, Fred was very surprised and had the usher read the numbers to him multiple times to confirm what he’d heard. Fred has since donated a portion of his winnings to the Canadian Journalism Association fund, which gives bursaries annually to budding photographers in memory of his friend, Tom.

When Michael and Stephanie Doxtater decided to attend a Senators game for some father-daughter bonding time they had no idea how great the experience would turn out. Before the game, daughter Stephanie had made a comment about feeling lucky, and suggested to her father that they purchase a lottery ticket for that evening. Michael instead suggested that they purchase 50/50 tickets at the Senators game, and gave the task of choosing a seller to Stephanie. Her lucky feeling paid off when the two won the pot of nearly $9000. Splitting the money in half, both father and daughter decided to travel with their winnings; Stephanie took a trip to California, while Michael took his wife on vacation to Jamaica.

Paul Dolan won almost $15,000 and could not believe his luck. He had several family members coming to visit from out of town for Christmas, so he used some of his winnings to help out with their travel. The great timing of his win has encouraged him to continue to buy 50/50 tickets in the future.

At the next home game half season seat holder Christine Brosko won $13,070. Christine is a regular 50/50 purchaser, but did not believe her win was possible. She had to ask around her to ensure that the numbers matched, and even then had trouble believing it. It definitely sank in when she and her fiancé used the winnings to pay for the open bar at their wedding. Another well timed 50/50 win!