News Release

Fort McMurray woman wins $1,000,023 jackpot

The low Canadian dollar paid off for Fort McMurray resident Sylvia Bennett, who became Alberta’s newest millionaire while taking a staycation in Edmonton.

“Friends of mine wanted to go to Vegas but because the Canadian dollar is so low, we decided we’d do a Canadian version of Vegas and we went to Edmonton for the weekend,” says Bennett.

Bennett was at the River Cree Resort & Casino with her husband Dave and their friends on Friday, February 26, when she hit the jackpot on the Diamond Millions progressive slot machine. Bennett was so thrilled, she says she couldn’t believe her eyes.

“I thought no, no way! I’m looking at the zeros and I looked at the guy next to me and he’s like, ‘Yes, you won $1 million!’ and I still didn’t believe it.”

The sawmill worker celebrated her windfall with champagne and a 30 oz. steak dinner, and says she’s taking her time before deciding what to do with the money.

Bennett hinted, however, that she is excited to be mortgage-free and would like to take a family vacation with her husband and their two sons.

“I’d like to pick something that we thought was too expensive before and do that. My husband wants to see Rome and Cuba.”

Bennett is the fourteenth person in Alberta to win more than $1 million playing Diamond Millions since 2012. Diamond Millions can be found at all casinos and Racing Entertainment Centres in Alberta, and has a jackpot that starts at $1 million. AGLC reminds Albertans to keep gambling fun; if you gamble, use your GameSense.

In Alberta, net proceeds from vlts, lottery tickets, electronic bingo and slot machines like Diamond Millions are placed in the Alberta Lottery Fund.

Last year, in 2014-15, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis (AGLC) contributed over $1.5 billion to the fund. This money is used to support thousands of volunteer, public and community-based initiatives each year. Whether you visit a health facility, attend a cultural event or check out a book at a local library, Alberta Lottery Fund dollars are often at work behind the scenes, making a positive impact in the lives of all Albertans.