September 27, 2021
Winner Stories

Triumph After Tragedy

Triumph After Tragedy

The internet is full of stories about people that have won the lottery. Some stories are full of luck or mystery and some of bizarre circumstances. The tale of Mary Wollens story would definitely be classified as the latter, and is a tale that needs to be told right from the beginning…


Mary Wollens was the daughter of poor Ukrainian immigrants. After leaving a life of hardship behind in rural Alberta, she moved to Saskatchewan with her parents to live on a farm. Mary began to work as a house cleaner at the tender age of 14. Once married, life didn’t get any easier for Mary. At the end of World War II, Mary and her husband moved to Toronto where he found work building the subway and repairing machines. When Mary turned 61, her daughter was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – an event that shook her world. Mary was left caring for both her daughter and husband, who was, by now, also ill and bedridden. Tragically, Mary lost both her loved ones within 7 months of each other. Mary expresses it as being one of the toughest times in her life, having done nothing but cry after her daughter’s passing.

After all the trauma Mary had experienced in her life, sleep did not come easily to her, but one night she had a dream about winning the lottery. In that dream she saw the winning numbers 1, 10, 18, 24, 31 and 46. When she woke up the next day, she wrote them down. Incredibly the numbers were the same as one of the three quick pick tickets she had purchased the day before. Mary was so convinced of the dream and it’s meaning that she immediately returned to the Royal York Smoke Shop on Royal York Road to purchase a second ticket with the same numbers. Little did she know how her luck was about to change.


Mary sat down to watch the live lotto draw the following day and as the numbers came in, one by one, Mary realised she had won. Not only had she won, but she had won twice as a result of her lucky dream! Mary won a staggering $16 Million, sharing the jackpot with only one other winner who walked away with the remaining third. Mary describes feeling like she was floating, saying that it was utterly amazing. After never having had much in life, she received a lump sum of money that truly changed her world.


Mary was mysterious about her plans to manage her new winnings, sharing that what was going to happen was already in process and taken care of. While her plans for her new-found fortune remain on lock-down, Mary did excitedly share that the first treat she had arranged for herself was an appointment with her regular hairdresser down the road.


In spite of a difficult and humble start, Mary has the rest of her life to spend enjoying her fortune with her one remaining son and grandson, no doubt making the rest of their dreams come true.

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