BIG changes in Wayne’s world

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRY ROBERTS

A Bay Roberts res­i­dent who has strug­gled to make ends meet for his en­tire life is dis­cov­er­ing what it’s like to be a mil­lion­aire.

Wayne Hiltz spent $20 of his mea­gre in­come on an At­lantic Lot­tery Corp. scratch ticket at Pow­ell’s Su­per­mar­ket on May 16, and it turned out to be a wise in­vest­ment.

It was a win­ning ticket. The prize? Two mil­lion bucks.

And be­lieve it or not, Wayne said it was the first lot­tery ticket he ever pur­chased.

It’s a true rags to riches story for the 59year-old Hal­i­fax na­tive and his fam­ily, which in­cludes wife Mary (Boland), adult daugh­ters An­gela and Jackie, adult sons Bill (B.J.) and Wayne Jr., and six grand­chil­dren.

The man known for rid­ing his bi­cy­cle through­out Bay Roberts, vis­it­ing yard sales and flea mar­kets, is now rich.

He started “shak­ing like a leaf ” af­ter real­iz­ing he had won, and sud­denly all the stress and heartaches of the past dis­ap­peared.

They’ll no longer need to de­pend on the food bank to stock the kitchen cup­boards, and though his trusty red bi­cy­cle was still lean­ing against the bridge on Tues­day, May 21, Wayne gra­ciously gave away many of the bike parts he had col­lected in re­cent months to a friend in need.

What’s more, he won’t have to count on sell­ing the “pond boat” he crafted in or­der to help pay for his smok­ing habit, and the debts he’s ac­cu­mu­lated over the years will soon be paid in full.

Wayne’s main mode of trans­port over the past two years — sum­mer and win­ter — has been a pedal bike. His in­come comes from so­cial as­sis­tance pay­ments, and their shel­ter is a very ba­sic two bed­room apart­ment.

All that has now changed, and in very dra­matic fash­ion.

He’s pur­chased a high end Ford Mus­tang val­ued at close to six fig­ures, and there’s also talks of a new home, all-ter­rain ve­hi­cles, a mo­tor­cy­cle, va­ca­tions, a recre­ational ve­hi­cle and more.

He’s also promis­ing his wife a full makeover, though she’s hav­ing no part of it.

“God made me look what I am and money is not go­ing to … no way,” Mary in­ter­jected dur­ing an in­ter­view out­side their apart­ment May 21.

Car turns heads

A cheque pre­sen­ta­tion took place at Pow­ell’s on Thurs­day. The at­mos- phere was fes­tive as fam­ily and store em­ploy­ees cheered. Out­side in the park­ing lot, passersby ad­mired the candy ap­ple red Mus­tang con­vert­ible.

At one point, Wayne whis­pered to his wife: “The keys are left in the car!”

Wayne con­firmed he plans to build his dream home — made of logs — in Makin­sons, and plans to drive his grand­daugh­ter to Hamil­ton, Ont., but not in the ‘ Stang. It will be put in stor­age.

Ear­lier in the week, Wayne said he planned to spend his new wealth wisely, and is re­ceiv­ing ad­vice from a lawyer, ac­coun­tant and a fi­nan­cial ad­viser.

“I can be a provider now for my fam­ily. I don’t have to worry about noth­ing,” he said.

Mary gave him grief about spend­ing the $20 on the ticket, but quickly for­gave her hus­band. Mary and some other fam­ily mem­bers were din­ing on chicken when they re­ceived the good news, and “Ev­ery­body at Kentucky Fried Chicken heard. The whole place went up,” she said.

An­gela said her par­ents de­served a break af­ter a life­time of worry and strug­gles. They lost ev­ery­thing in a ma­jor fire in Nova Sco­tia be­fore re­lo­cat­ing to this prov­ince five years ago, for in­stance.

Wayne quit school af­ter Grade 6, while Mary was one of 18 chil­dren in a fam­ily raised on very lit­tle in Lamaline.

“We’ve al­ways been a low-in­come fam­ily, and it’s al­ways been a strug­gle,” said An­gela. “This is like a fairy tale,” she added. Mean­while, the store that sold the win­ning ticket re­ceived a seller’s prize of $20,000, or one per cent of the jackpot.

Photo by Nicholas Mercer/the Com­pass

At a spe­cial cer­e­mony at Pow­ell’s Su­per­mar­ket in Bay Roberts on May 23, Bay Roberts res­i­dent Wayne Hiltz (cen­tre) re­ceived some­thing he has been wait­ing his en­tire life for — $2 mil­lion. Here, Hiltz and his wife Mary (right) plant kisses on the face of three-year-old grand­daugh­ter Kynnedi Mor­rell. Also in the pic­ture is ALC se­nior ac­count man­ager Ver­non Hoben.

Photo by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass

Bay Roberts res­i­dent Wayne Hiltz (front, left) is seen here with mem­bers of his fam­ily. They in­clude wife Mary, daugh­ter An­gela, and sons Bill and Wayne Jr. Miss­ing is daugh­ter Jackie. The Hiltz’s also have six grand­chil­dren.

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