Car­bon­ear cou­ple are ‘Set for Life’

Trip to the mall turns out to be lucky for Glo­ria and Mac Mercer

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BYMELISSA JENK­INS

Mal­colm and Glo­ria Mercer cel­e­brated with a feed of fries, dress­ing and gravy, when they learned they were ‘Set for Life’.

The re­tired Car­bon­ear cou­ple had a win­ning scratch ticket that Mal­colm, known as Mac, bought Aug. 7. The re­sult was the op­tion of $1,000 a week for 25 years, or a lump sum of $675,000. They chose the lump sum.

To cel­e­brate, they went for a fa­mil­iar meal at a lo­cal dining es­tab­lish­ment, but this time they shared a sin­gle plate of chips with two forks. Af­ter all, it was a spe­cial oc­ca­sion.

An­nounce­ment

On Aug. 14, one week af­ter the Mer­cers knew they were win­ners, a pub­lic an­nounce­ment was made at the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Square shop­ping cen­tre by the At­lantic Lot­tery Cor­po­ra­tion not far from the cou­ple’s home.

Fam­ily and friends gath­ered at cen­tre court to hear the big an­nounce­ment, with some peo­ple hang­ing around just cu­ri­ous to see who won the big prize.

Mac and Glo­ria were in­tro­duced to a large crowd, who cheered en­er­get­i­cally for the lo­cals’ suc­cess.

“It feels ex­cel­lent,” Glo­ria said.

A cake and some fin­ger foods, as well as cans of pop, were given to those who came to watch the an­nounce­ment. It was a happy time, with min­gling and chitchat by all.

Funny story

Mac laughed as he told the story of how he won the prizes.

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

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

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

He ex­plained, when he scratched the Set for Life ticket, he told the em­ployee at the Lotto Booth he thought he “won big.”

Mac was on the phone with the At­lantic Lot­tery Cor­po­ra­tion in Monc­ton, N.B., when Glo­ria came up and heard the news.

Win was a relief

When asked how they felt af­ter 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 $1000 a week for 25 years. They were happy to know there would be fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity for the com­ing years.

But this was not just an an­nounce­ment for the cou­ple. It was also a fam­ily re­union.

Su­san Chislett, the Mercer’s 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 told The Com­pass af­ter the cheque pre­sen­ta­tion. “I told her that it wasn’t a very nice joke.” But, Su­san soon learned it wasn’t a joke. Their daugh­ter was happy to see them win, say­ing no one de­served it more.

She called her mom some­what of a wor­rier, al­ways en­sur­ing every­one else is okay, and mak­ing sure there’s enough money for the cou­ple’s re­tire­ment.

“Now, they can just live their re­tire­ment free from the stress,” she said.

The cou­ple’s son Stephen, who lives in Toronto, was sched­uled to ar­rive in New­found­land Aug. 13 with his fam­ily. The At­lantic Lot­tery Cor­po­ra­tion was able to hold off on the an­nounce­ment un­til Aug. 14 to al­low Stephen and his fam­ily to be a part of the pre­sen­ta­tion.

Glo­ria and Mac were very happy they could share the an­nounce­ment with the en­tire fam­ily.

No plans yet

When asked what they plan on do­ing with the money, they had no set plans.

“I like the out­door life,” Mac said. “But we don’t travel.”

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

They also joked that the whole fam­ily could get a feed of fries, dress­ing and gravy.

The cou­ple won the first Set for Life out of five, which be­gan in June.

Photo by Melissa Jenk­ins/The Com­pass

Glo­ria and Mac Mercer were happy to have their fam­ily with them to cel­e­brate their big win on a ‘Set for Life’ scratch ticket. Mem­bers of the fam­ily are, from left, son in law Ja­son Chislett, daugh­ter Su­san Chislett, grand­daugh­ter Madi­son Chislett (front), Mac Mercer, Glo­ria Mercer, grand­son Ai­dan Mercer, son Stephen Mercer, grand­daugh­ter Ella Mercer and daugh­ter-in-law Zia Mercer.

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