Stars align for Hamilton lot­tery win­ner

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - EMMA REILLY

THEA FAULDS

was re­lax­ing in her back­yard Satur­day night when she spot­ted a good omen in the heav­ens.

“I saw a shoot­ing star. And my hus­band said, ‘Did you make a wish?’” re­calls Faulds. “And I said, ‘No, I have ev­ery­thing I want.’”

But the next day, when Faulds was in the check­out line at Shop­pers Drug Mart on Bar­ton Street, the woman in front of her bought a lot­tery ticket. With­out re­ally know­ing why, Faulds de­cided to buy one, too.

“I don’t re­ally buy lot­tery tick­ets that of­ten, and I don’t even know why I bought one,” she said.

As it turns out, the stars were aligned in her favour.

The 44-year-old won In­stant Cash for Life, which awards win­ners with $1,000 cash ev­ery week — lit­er­ally, for life.

“You can choose a pay­out of $675,000, or you can get $1,000 — gen­uinely for the rest of your life,” Faulds said. “I thought it would be only for 20, 25 years.”

The re­al­ity of her wind­fall still hasn’t sunk in, Faulds says.

“I’m kind of in shock still — I’m still go­ing to work and do­ing what I nor­mally do,” she said. “It hits me in the mid­dle of the night, ac­tu­ally.”

Faulds, who founded the Toronto Zom­bie Walk and works as the di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions at the Cen­tre[3] for Print and Me­dia Arts, says she in­tends to keep work­ing — at least for the time be­ing. How­ever, she does have plans for her ex­tra cash.

She would also like to share her win­nings with her 70-year-old mother. “I’d like to take care of her, I would like to get away to­gether — to be able to va­ca­tion with her and take her to some re­ally cool places.”

The in­ter­est­ing thing about win­ning this par­tic­u­lar lot­tery ticket is that it isn’t an im­me­di­ate in­flux of cash, Faulds said. She says she has to be care­ful that she doesn’t spend too much — though she couldn’t re­sist splurg­ing on $3,500 worth of art.

“I’m try­ing to be care­ful and spend it wisely,” she said. “It’s a weird feel­ing, be­cause you feel like, “I’m a mil­lion­aire!” — but you’re not, re­ally, you’re just be­ing taken care of.”

“It’s like the uni­verse is tak­ing care of you.”

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF OLG

Thea Faulds plans to do some trav­el­ling af­ter win­ning the Cash for Life lot­tery.

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