Sudbury couple wins record $635K in hospital 50/50 draw

Ron and Maureen McNaughton of Sudbury are the winners of the March 50/50 draw at Health Sciences North Foundation, winning $635,000, the largest prize yet for the hospital's lottery. (Supplied)

Ron and Maureen McNaughton of Sudbury are the winners of the March 50/50 draw at Health Sciences North Foundation, winning $635,000, the largest prize yet for the hospital's lottery.

“Obviously, when I got the call I was a bit skeptical, it being April 1 and all,” Ron McNaughton said in a news release Thursday. “Even after being assured that this is real and holding the big cheque, it hasn’t sunk in yet.

"We’ve been buying tickets for four months and always did it more to support local healthcare than win. It’s great to be able to support a local cause, but winning the draw? There’s no way we could have expected that!”

When asked how they plan to spend their winnings, Ron and Maureen said were not completely sure.

“We talked about it the whole way to the hospital and still don’t have a solid plan yet,” said Maureen, “I’ll be retiring in a couple of years, so this will definitely help that, but I think we’ll put it in the bank for now and give some gifts to our loved ones.”

Anthony Keating, president and chief development officer of foundations and volunteer groups at HSN, said the size of the prize made calling the winners extra special this month.

“Watching the grand prize jackpot grow so quickly at the end of the month was exhilarating," Keating said in the release. "$635,000 is a life-changing amount of money, and I could not be more excited for Ron and Maureen, but I’m also excited to put the funds to work for the highest priority needs at HSN.”

The new monthly draw is already live at www.hsn5050.ca. The jackpot is updated online in real-time and continues to grow as more people participate.

Each month, half of the total ticket sales support patient care at HSN and the other half go to the lucky winner. Funds raised will make a difference in the lives of those living with cancer, how the tiniest patients receive specialized pediatric care and ensuring equipment is in place when needed to provide quality patient care.

Residents across Ontario over the age of 18 can purchase tickets. Tickets for the April draw are available to purchase right now, with sales ending at 11:59 p.m. on April 29. The jackpot-winning ticket will be drawn April 30 at 10 a.m. and posted online at www.hsn5050.ca.