Osgoode man wins CHEO Dream of a Lifetime Lottery

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Kevin Keohane (R), CHEO’s vice-president of development and corporate relations greets Ryan Holmes, the CHEO Dream Home Lottery winner. Photo by Jean Levac/Ottawa Citizen

By Tony Lofaro

Ryan Holmes can’t wait to show off his new million-dollar home to his four-year-old daughter.

Holmes, a single dad, walked around in a daze Wednesday as he toured the Minto dream home in Manotick that he won in the CHEO Foundation Dream of a Lifetime Lottery. The grand prize, which includes the furnished 4,653 square-foot home, a 2013 Lincoln MKS AWD, $100,000 in cash, housecleaning for a year and $5,000 in groceries, is worth more than $1.6 million.

“It’s overwhelming. I don’t know what to say,” said Holmes, 33, an Osgoode resident, who removed his winter boots before entering the sprawling, Minto-designed home. The draw was held Wednesday by the CHEO Foundation.

The drywall installer was accompanied by his parents, Penny and Dean, sister Julie and sister-in-law Christine during the house tour. His daughter Rylan was in school and could not make it, but he hopes to bring her soon.

“I’m sure she’ll be happy to see this (home),” said Holmes. “The bedroom with the purple in it would be her first pick I’m sure.”

His daughter was born with cystic fibrosis and, in fact, he has an appointment to bring her to CHEO on Thursday.

Holmes said he visited the Dream home with a friend last year and decided to buy a ticket, never figuring he had a chance of winning the grand prize. It was the first time he had bought a ticket in the annual lottery.

He pretty much forgot about the draw until he got a telephone call Wednesday afternoon from CHEO Foundation officials.

“I was at home just making some Kraft dinner, actually, and my mom called me first and asked if I had won the CHEO home. I said no way,” said Holmes.

He said he checked his phone messages and there was one from CHEO Foundation president Kevin Keohane congratulating him on his win.

“(Kevin) said, ‘This is a day you’re not going to forget.’ I still don’t believe it, it’s crazy,” he said.

Holmes said the Minto home is much “nicer” than his bungalow in Osgoode, which is the home he grew up in. He bought the bungalow from his parents.

He said his new home is beautiful but he particularly likes the finished basement, which includes an 80-inch television, bar area, sauna, billiard table and exercise room. He also liked the master bedroom and sat in the fancy tub and posed for a funny photo shoot.

Holmes said it’s too early to say whether he’ll move into the home.

“I’ve been trying to take it all in and just telling people, ‘What am I going to do?’ But I’d loved to move in here,.”

His mother was also in shock after touring the home.

“I don’t believe it. When will the reality set in?” she asked.

“Ryan is very deserving of this. He’s been through some rough times, especially with a sick child,” she said.

Kevin Keohane, CHEO Foundation president and chief executive, said Holmes is typical of the buyers of Dream Home Lottery tickets.

“His shock demonstrates he was not thinking he was going to win and that’s representative of the people who buy our tickets. And he has a daughter who uses CHEO,” said Keohane.

Michel Ferron and Armand Savoie of Gatineau are the second-prize winners and they’ll receive $100,000 cash, a 2013 Ford Mustang V6 Convertible, a $10,000 gift certificate from Jubilee Fine Jewellers, and a seven-day Alaskan cruise aboard Holland America Cruise Lines.

A list of all winning ticket numbers will be printed in The Citizen on Friday, and ticket-holders can also check their tickets online at www.dreamofalifetime.ca as of 5 p.m. on Thursday.


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