Lottery officials have confirmed an Ulukhaktok woman's $250,000 scratch ticket win, just three months after her local store began selling the tickets.
Delma Klengenberg says the first words out of her mouth were "Holy cow!" on discovering her Holiday Diamonds scratch ticket was worth a quarter of a million dollars.
The community's Holman Eskimo Co-op only started to sell lottery tickets in September 2017. Klengenberg collected her prize in December. Her win was announced by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation in a news release on Friday – the corporation routinely publicizes major winners to prove its prizes are actually won and, in its words, "to protect the integrity of the games."
The same news release also confirmed Fort Smith resident Dorreen Vogt's $10,000 win from an October ticket bought at the town's Rapid Corner Store.
Officials described 2017 as a "lucky year" for lottery players in the North. Eleven major prizes ($10,000 or more) were claimed in the NWT and Nunavut over the course of the year, reaching a total of more than $700,000.
Proceeds from lottery sales in the Northwest Territories are a major source of funding for the territory's sports and recreation programs.
Legislation in the NWT is currently being overhauled to place lottery operations under direct territorial government control. That move was prompted by a change to Canada Revenue Agency definitions of non-profit organizations and how they are taxed, which made the NWT's lottery revenue taxable while lotteries remained under the authority of the arm's-length Sport and Recreation Council.