Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers with the 2021 Rotary Dream Home Lottery believe the annual raffle was a terrific success.

Raffle Manager Melissa Coulombe says not only did the Dream Home lottery come achingly close to selling out, but they also shattered the previous record high 50/50 jackpot.

Trevor Barclay walked out the biggest winner on the night, as he won the $1.3 million Dream Home in Taylor Estates, while Jackie Schmuhl walked away with $350,000 from a record-setting $700,000 50/50. The previous record, set in 2019, was just over $570,000.

Melissa Coulombe says they were thrilled with the outpouring of support for the lottery. She says the interest in the event didn’t falter, despite not showing off the dream home itself.

“Without people going through the house, they went online and got their tickets or called in, everyone stepped up in the region,” she adds.

Coulombe says with proceeds from the lottery helping non-profits and organizations across the region, including Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of Grande Prairie, Special Olympics Grande Prairie, and the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre, many people use the lottery as their way give back.

“Not everyone expects that they are be going to be winning a $1.3 million house, but they feel good still supporting the cause,” she says.

“They know what the fundraiser does within the region and the businesses and groups it impacts, and we have many people tell us they’ve made their donation for the year.”

The 2021 Rotary Dream Home Lottery ended up 97 per cent sold out, with fewer than 800 single tickets left unsold.