'Nothing like this ever happens': small town hockey team promised $7.5M donation

When Mike Gould first approached the Kimberley Dynamiters Junior B team with the offer of a $7.5 million donation, team president James Leroux couldn't quite believe his ears.

Kimberley Dynamiters Junior B team has been pledged a huge windfall from hometown lottery winner

From left to right: Kimberley Dynamiters President James Leroux, $7.5 million donor Mike Gould, Gould's step-brother Duane Johnson, Dynamiters' board members Karrie Hall, Al Rice and Troy Pollock. (Revelstoke Review)

When Mike Gould first approached the Kimberley Dynamiters Junior B team less than a month ago with the offer of a $7.5 million donation, team president James Leroux couldn't quite believe his ears.

"All those thoughts go through your head like, 'Is this guy for real?' Nothing like this ever happens," said Leroux.

Gould, 38, made the donation pledge public Oct. 13 during a pregame ceremony at the Kimberley Civic Centre.

He told CBC News that almost two decades of investing, along with a Euromillions lottery win in 2008, enabled him to make the donation.

Gould, who says he used to work in the oil patch, also hinted that there are more donation announcements coming in the near future.

"There's, like, other stuff coming up the pipe, too," he said.

"It's just going to open me right up and eventually you guys are going to see who I really am and then the whole net worth is going to be disclosed ... and it will be out there in the public eye."

A Calgary resident, Gould was raised in Kimberley and has two young sons who now play hockey there. 

Money for minor hockey

One of the stipulations of the donation is that the Dynamiters use some of the money to support the Kimberley Minor Hockey Association, which has approximately 200 registered players.

"Mike's goal is that anyone who wants to play hockey will be able to play hockey," said Leroux. 

The Dynamiters can now purchase a badly needed new bus, which will be available to the minor teams when it's not being used. 

Leroux says the Dynamiters' annual budget is $400,000. He estimates the annual budget of the minor hockey association to be about $60,000.

State of disbelief

"We're still in that disbelief state," he said. "We've got a lot of work to do and have to sit down and prioritize and see what we really need and how to go about being diligent and making [our decisions] sustainable over the next 25 years."

Leroux expects the money to be deposited in the team's accounts this week.

Gould said the donation would have made his mother, who died in December, very proud. 

"It was a little emotional, not having Mom there. She would be down on the ice going, 'That's my boy,'" he said.

With files from Liam Britten