'Working poor' couple from tiny Alberta hamlet win $50M lottery

A very shy man from a tiny Alberta hamlet made his wife blush and a room full of people laugh Thursday when asked why he was in the Mini Mart that day.

Fort Kent has a population of 220 people - now two of them are multi-millionaires

Raymond and Sheena Scott are presented with a whopping big check by Bill Robinson, president of the Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission.

A very shy man from a tiny Alberta hamlet made his wife blush and a room full of people laugh Thursday when asked why he was in the Mini Mart that day.

"We had to go get birth control," said Raymond Scott, glancing at his wife, Sheena.
Raymond Scott, enjoying a chuckle over his story about why he and his wife went to the store that day. (CBC)

Then he chuckled, and everyone joined in.

It was there, while his wife was in the back of the M&M Mini Mart, that Scott checked his Lotto Max tickets and discovered he had just won $50 million.

"Raymond, I've got to tell you," said Bill Robinson, president of the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission. "I've been doing this a long time. That's the first time I've ever heard that line."

A prize of that size would change anyone's life.

And the Scotts, perhaps more than most, were due for some good luck.

"I just actually had surgery," Raymond said, "actually a year ago today. For cancer stuff."

He didn't elaborate. But he did talk about a life filled with struggles.

"We were both kind of like the working poor our wholes lives," he said.

The couple lives in Fort Kent, Alta., a hamlet of 220 people about 250 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.

Scott, 38, said he bought the Lotto Max tickets for the Aug. 7 draw in nearby Ardmore.

He said his first job was working at the local gas station. When he graduated high school in 1995, his parents bought the station. He worked there and lived at home.

His father died in 1998. The kids moved away and left mom to run the gas station.

'A struggle for our whole family'

"It's been a struggle for our whole family," he said. "Generations before me, too."

For the last few years, he has managed a trucking company, a job he plans to keep "for a couple more months."

Their first plan for the money is to buy an acreage once owned by Sheena's grandfather, so they can "get it back in the family."

They also plan to reconnect with relatives and help out friends.

"Driving trucks I was always gone," he said. "Busy. I've kind of lost touch with my side of the family."

Seated before the media at the requisite news conference, Raymond wore a black ball cap and a nervous smile. Sheena, 27, mostly looked scared.

But Raymond overcame his nerves and seemed to enjoy making reporters laugh.

Asked if the money has changed him, he said: "She says I've changed, but I don't know."

Then, more seriously, he said:  "Things are going to change, but not for the worse."

The Scotts got married just over a year ago. They've yet to take a honeymoon, because until now they couldn't afford one.

Next weekend, they plan to fly to Toronto to take in a Blue Jays games.

And, Raymond allowed, "to meet some investors."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?