Thompson’s Safeway was a little busier than usual March 9, as city officials, local hockey players and well-wishers arrived at the store around noon to watch Wanda Nabess accept a giant cheque for $100,000.
Nabess won this money through the Sobeys/Safeway Score & Win contest after Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler racked up four goals against the Columbus Blue Jackets March 3.
This long-time Thompson resident is a frequent Safeway shopper and Air Miles user who was randomly selected to receive $100,000 that night.
“It was surreal,” said Nabess, describing the influx of calls and texts she received from family members after the announcement was made. “My daughter, she was texting me and then my two nieces were texting me too. My niece lives in Saskatchewan, she was texting me. And my other [daughter] lives in Ottawa, she asked, ‘Is it true?’”
During a brief interview with TSN sportscaster Gord Miller, who served as the master of ceremonies on Saturday, Nabess revealed that she will use this money to pay off her bills and travel across the country with her husband Garry to visit family.
The pair also won the chance to visit Winnipeg March 16 to watch the Jets take on the Calgary Flames at Bell MTS Place. A lifelong Jets fan, Nabess has never watched a game live before.
Nabess’s win also represents a first in the Score & Win’s over 25-year history.
According to their website, she is the only person in Thompson to have won $100,000 through this contest, since the organizers just introduced this specific cash prize for the 2018−19 NHL season.
Score & Win’s biggest reward is $1 million, but in order for someone to win this jackpot a professional hockey player from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton or Winnipeg has to put away five goals in a single game.
Winnipeg pastor Christopher Haley received a seven-figure cheque after Patrik Laine scored five goals against the St. Louis Blues Nov. 24.
Safeway district operator Greg Warner said during Saturday’s ceremony in Thompson that they’ve also given away almost 2,300 $25 Sobeys/Safeway gift cards to people living in the Winnipeg Jets region so far this season.