A small-town Manitoba ringette player was given a big-time Christmas present thanks to a chance encounter with one of the province's newest multimillionaires.
Jenna Duke of La Salle was shopping for new goalie pads at the Royal Sports store in Winnipeg when a stranger added her $700 tab to his own bill.
The generous fellow was Kirby Fontaine, who along with his wife, Marie, won a $50-million Lotto Max jackpot in November.
Duke, 13, and her mother, Regina Parker, were taken aback by Fontaine's gesture, which came about after he saw Duke's team jacket.
"They talked a little bit — it's a little strange when somebody starts talking to your daughter — but then he said, 'I'm Kirby Fontaine, I won the lottery. Would you mind if I bought goalie pads for your daughter?,'" Parker told CBC News.
Duke was so moved by Fontaine's kindness that she asked him to autograph the new pads.
The mother and daughter said they plan to pass on Fontaine's kindness by doing something generous for someone else.
Couple thrills home community
The Fontaines, who live on the Sagkeeng First Nation northeast of Winnipeg, have generally kept a low public profile since their Nov. 6 win.
However, they've been quietly using their fortune to improve people's lives.
On Tuesday, The couple was on hand to help pack and deliver Christmas hampers on behalf of Winnipeg's Holy Cross church.
"My wife was shopping last night so she says,'We've got to organize – we've got to get everybody together and let's go help,'" Kirby Fontaine said.
Earlier in December, he stepped forward to fund a hockey team for youth, including paying for new, top-of-the-line equipment.
The couple was also reported to have talked to local officials about funding a hot-meal program at a community school.
Twenty-two family members have been given new vehicles as gifts, Kirby said, adding he and his wife have spent about $1 million of their fortune so far.
Kirby is the cousin of Phil Fontaine, the former head of the Assembly of First Nations, who is also from Sagkeeng.
At the time of the couple's win, the lottery winner was off work while he recuperated from a stroke, and his wife worked at a local personal-care home.