Carbonear couple are ‘Set for Life’
Trip to the mall turns out to be lucky for Gloria and Mac Mercer
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.
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.
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.
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.