When you think about the Calgary Stampede Lotteries, you might envision the flashy new Kinsmen trucks, cars and toys on display on the Stampede Midway or taking a walk through this year’s luxuriously designed Rotary Dream Home, picturing what you would do if you were one of the lucky winners.

Perhaps the dream of seeing yourself behind the wheel of a brand new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe draws you in to one of the Stampede Lotteries booths and you decide to purchase tickets for your chance to live out your dream.

Calgary Stampede Lotteries
Volunteer working at a Calgary Stampede Lotteries booth on the Midway.

What you may not realize is that when you buy your lottery tickets, you are changing lives. It could be your own (if you are one of the lucky winners!), or the lives of the thousands who benefit through the charities that the Stampede Lotteries supports.

Just how much does the Calgary Stampede Lotteries change lives? I followed up with 2016 Split ‘Em 50/50 draw winner, Tammy Noel and Krista Poole, CEO of CanLearn Society, one of the many charities that benefit from the Calgary Stampede Lotteries, to find out.

How the Stampede Lotteries changed a winner’s life

When Tammy Noel found out she had won the Split ‘Em 50 prize of $739,642.50 during the 2016 Stampede Lotteries, she was at home in her basement eating Chinese food, unaware that the Stampede Lotteries Prize draw was even happening that evening. When friends, family and neighbours started phoning and knocking on her door, that’s when the reality began to sink in; Noel, her husband and seven-year-old son had won almost three quarters of a million dollars!

Tammy Noel and family accepting their Stampede Split ‘Em 50 winnings cheque
Tammy Noel and family accepting their Stampede Split ‘Em 50 winnings cheque.

“Winning the Split ‘Em 50 helped us reset; it gave us that extra breathing room,” explained Noel. “As a young couple with a young family, you always have so much on the go and there’s only so much time and so much money that you have. What this win allowed us to do was reset and take a look at things from a different point of view; it allowed us to do more for our family.”

So far, Tammy’s big win has allowed her husband, a former construction worker, to be a stay-at-home dad to look after their son with Type 1 diabetes. Tammy and her husband were previously struggling to manage their son’s diabetes needs with the added hustle and bustle of school and child care. The family has also purchased a used tent trailer and enjoys spending quality time together, especially during the summer when they go camping almost every weekend. Their family has also gone on a number of trips to the U.S., building even more family memories together. Tammy noted that these were all experiences that her family would never have been able to have before her big win, which she doesn’t take for granted.

“Of course everyone wants to win something,” Tammy explained when asked why she supports the Stampede Lotteries. “But even if you don’t win, it’s nice to know that the money is going right back into the community and is going towards a good cause. That’s why we buy our tickets every year.”

How the Stampede Lotteries helped a charity in need

Each year, more than 50 local charities receive proceeds from the Stampede Lotteries. In 2017, more than $1.4 million was reinvested into the community through the Calgary Stampede Foundation, the Kinsmen Club of Calgary and the Rotary Club of Calgary South.

One of the charities that benefitted from the 2017 Lotteries is the CanLearn Society, which offers services such as literacy programs, ADHD workshops and coaching to help children, teens and adults with ADHD and learning disabilities.

CanLearn Photo
CanLearn Society’s Magic Carpet Ride family literacy program for parents and preschool-aged children.

“We work with people on challenges that hamper their learning,” explained CanLearn Society CEO, Krista Poole. She noted that their clients often come to CanLearn discouraged and feeling down on themselves, but explained that the organization works with their clients until a solution is found, leaving many clients with a renewed sense of confidence and the motivation to excel in not only their future learning, but in other areas of their personal lives as well.

With the growth of the city, the economic downturn and a rising number of clientele seeking out CanLearn’s services, keeping up with the demand has proven to be a challenge for CanLearn over the past few years. It’s through the support of charitable programs, such as the Stampede Lotteries that has helped CanLearn serve the community along the way.

“The donation from the Kinsmen Club of Calgary, through the Stampede Lotteries allowed us to double our footprint to 8,000 sq. ft. of space,” said Poole. “In a short time span, the Stampede Lotteries has made a world of a difference. With the extra space we are now able to support more programming.”

From a Canadian newcomer, looking for help with her coursework to become a registered nurse, to helping a young boy struggling with emotional and behavioral troubles interact and make friends with his peers, the CanLearn Society has had a direct impact on the lives of those within our community, with the support of charitable giving through the likes of the Stampede Lotteries.

How can you get involved?

So if you are debating whether or not to buy those Stampede Lotteries tickets, remember that you could change your life and will definitely help change the lives of others!

If you are interested in supporting the Stampede Lotteries, ticket packages are available until Friday, June 22, 2018 at calgarystampede.com/lotteries or by phone at 1.888.568.8616. After June 22, individual prize tickets can be purchased at the Calgary Stampede, July 6 – 15, 2018.