Ponoka resident Brent Hellyer has won the 2022 Ponoka Stampede Cattle Raffle and as he lives in town, he has chosen to take the $75,000 cash prize instead of the 50-bred heifers.
“I was surprised as heck when I got the phone call,” he said, adding he’s extremely happy to have won.
He says he’s never really been lucky and the most he’s won before in his life was maybe five bucks from a lottery ticket.
He’s supported the cattle raffle in past years, and this year, he just bought one ticket, purchasing it before going in for an operation to remove one of his feet at the beginning of June.
He said the prize money will help him pay off some debt and allow him to buy some things he has been needing. He may also have additional expenses in the future related to the amputation.
Hellyer said he thinks the Ponoka Stampede is the “greatest thing around” and he hopes it continues on for many years. Although he was unable to attend this year, his favourite part to watch is the chuckwagon races. He was able to see the parade though and enjoyed it very much.
“Hopefully next year I can attend.”
Ponoka Stampede directory Terry Jones said it was nice that somebody who really needed it was the winner this year, adding that the cattle raffle sold out again this year.