GREENWOOD, N.S. - What a difference a year makes.
Twelve months ago Sheri Wood was diagnosed with breast cancer. This week she and husband Stacy accepted a cheque for almost $1 million.
Sheri is almost done her treatments and is cancer free. She wants to buy a 1930s Chevy pickup to rebuild. Stacy is going to retire from the air force a few years early.
The Middleton couple can afford to do that now. They won Atlantic Lottery’s Set for Life after picking up their scratch ticket at Gates Landing in Middleton recently.
While the couple could take $1,000 a week for 25 years, they decided to take the lump sum option of $675,000 instead, and they did just that at a ceremony at the PSP Community Recreation Centre on Church Street in Greenwood Sept. 27 just outside the gates of 14 Wing Greenwood.
It was a happy event with refreshments and coffee and even lobster rolls. Friends and family gathered round to congratulate them as they accepted a giant cheque from Atlantic Lottery’s Abby MacDonald and Lindsay Meekins.
Twelve months ago life wasn’t so good.
“We won almost exactly a year after I was diagnosed and had my surgery,” she said. “The news we get to share this year is way better than last year’s.”
Stacy may turn a wrench or two on the hot rod truck customization. The 29-year veteran with the Royal Canadian Air Force is looking forward to retiring within the year.
“I want to get my 30 years in and then I will be ready to retire,” he said. “I would have thought about staying on a bit longer, but after what we’ve gone through in the last year we’ve realized that we need to stop putting things off and start enjoying life now.”
Sheri is almost finished treatments and is cancer free. With their Set for Life win and the improvement in Sheri’s health, they’re looking forward to starting the next chapter in their lives.
They’re classic car enthusiasts. Sheri used to organize shows and even now they consult with show organizers who are seeking advice on how to put a show together.
Sheri was the one who scratched the ticket. How did she feel?
“He keeps calling me a bouncy ball,” Sheri said.
“Remember those little bouncy balls you used to get when you were a kid? You’d throw it at the wall and it would go forever? That had nothing on her,” said Stacy of his wife’s reaction to finding out they’d won. “She was just vibrating.”
“Screaming, hugging my son, tears, super excited for him (Stacy) because he’s retiring,” Sheri said.
Stacy didn’t know how much Set for Life was worth and kept asking Sheri “What did we win?” She kept answering “Set for Life.”
“I didn’t know if we might have won $10,000, $20,000,” he recalled. “Okay we won obviously, something, because you’re freaking out. It just didn’t clue in.”
It turned out to be enough to change their lives.
Sheri said they buy Set for Life tickets weekly. “Every time we go to gas up or run to the corner store we pick up two Set for Life tickets, one for him and one for me,” she said.
Sheri describes herself as a cancer survivor. “I’m just staying home getting better,” she said, referring to the last year as a rollercoaster.
“You realize that life is short, things come up,” Stacy said. “So if you have the opportunity to go out and do what you want to do, don’t wait because you never know what’s coming around the corner.”
He said the win will help them do that. “We’re still going to do what we do. Our lifestyle I don’t think is really going to change much,” he said. “All it does is instead of waiting another five or six years to retire and do this we’ll start sooner.”
Sheri and Stacy Wood have two boys age 20 and 17.
Besides the truck project, they plan to build a new garage, big enough to house and work on their new hot rod in addition to their beloved ’67 Camaro.
Mary and Danny Ritchie of Gates Landing were also part of the celebration and accepted a cheque for one per cent of the winnings on behalf of their convenience store and gas bar in Middleton. They also own Lequille Country Store.
According to Atlantic Lottery, there are still two top prizes to be won in the #4022 Set for Life series.