“Please don’t pinch me, because if this is all a dream, I don’t want to wake up!”
That was Murray Brown’s response to winning a $1.4 million home and $30,000 in the Hospitals of Regina Home Lottery.
Thursday evening, May 9, Murray Brown of Carlyle was working on three miles of fencing when his phone rang. The caller asked him if he was Murray Brown and if he had ever bought tickets for the Regina Home Lottery? If so, could he state his postal code? Brown asked why they needed it, and was told that it was to verify if he was the winner of the Lottery. He gave them the information, the director of the Lottery got on the phone and, even then, Brown expected them to ask for a credit card or something to clue him in on the fact it was a scam. It wasn’t!
Back at home, Donna was receiving calls and texts congratulating them on the win, so she called Murray and asked him if he had anything to tell her. When he confirmed the news, she asked him to come home, but it took him another hour to get there because it was supposed to rain and he didn’t want to leave the wire laying on the ground. Sunday, he was back out there finishing the fencing and he had to remind himself that he hadn’t dreamed the entire thing.
Listening to the Browns talk about the experience, it is clear that the following day was mainly a blur. Being followed around through the house by reporters, asking questions about how they felt, what their plans were, both of them were still in shock. Later, as the kids talked about things in the home, neither of them clearly recalled many of them. They talked about the iPad built into the wall, full of apps to run the sound system, and the huge box with all the wires coming out of it that was connected to it, but had difficulty remembering much about many of the other features of the house. They are looking forward to getting the keys and then exploring the house on their own.
Tuesday, May 21, they will travel back to Regina to meet with the lawyer to sign the title, the home builder to go over the home, discuss the warranty and how everything works, the insurance broker to discus insurance, switch over the security system, power and gas and the real estate agents to list the house.
It has been a whirlwind week or so and Donna remembers, that for the first time ever, they will own a home that is completely finished. She and her husband have built three homes together and every one of them they lived in while they finished it, because there just wasn’t the money to do it before moving in.
Murray has regularly bought tickets on this lottery and the STARS lottery, because they are causes that are dear to his heart. He says that many people, family and friends, have been touched in some way by the hospitals or STARS and it is an important cause. This is their first win ever, and he will continue to support the two lotteries.
This win has made Murray realize a lot about himself. They were happy with the win, but even more happy to come home and sit in their own home and really appreciate it. This won’t change them, but being semi-retired now, this win will allow them the freedom to not worry about their kids having to look after them financially in the future.
They are planning a Father’s Day weekend with Murray’s siblings in the new home and a few other visits to the home while it is still theirs. With 25,000 visitors touring the home before the draw, and all the publicity, who knows when that will happen, but the Browns will enjoy it while they can.
Editor’s note: The home the Browns won was designed by Derek McDonald. Derek is the son of Aaron McDonald and Joan McDonald of Kenosee Lake and grandson of the late Cameron and Alma McLeod of Carlyle. Another Carlyle connection.