By TREENA MIELKE
Barb Belt certainly has every reason to believe there is a Santa and miracles do happen after discovering a million-dollar Western Canada Lottery scratch and win ticket in her stocking Dec. 25.
It truly was a Christmas miracle for the Rimbey-area family, but Barb said it was, in fact, the second miracle that they experienced during the holiday season.
“This is our second miracle, because my dad had surgery before Christmas and he was deemed cancer-free. If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. All the money in the world can’t buy your health.
Belt said the family received the wonderful news about her father a few days before Christmas. The second miracle was to unfold Christmas Day.
“My husband (Les) bought it (the ticket) on the 24th because he hadn’t finished his Christmas shopping. He put it in my stocking for Christmas morning and I scratched the ticket.”
The winning ticket seemed legitimate but it wasn’t until Jan. 5 that the winning was made official.
“As of today (Jan. 5) it is confirmed,” said Belt. “And we’re very, very excited. Shell-shocked really.”
The confirmation process took a few days, she said.
“There was quite a bit of paperwork to fill out. They had to take all of their precautions. It happened over the holidays and everybody wants time off. That’s understandable. It’s just when you’re this excited, it’s kind of hard to wait, but that’s okay, it makes the wait all that much better.”
Winning a million dollars might be incentive enough for some people to quit their jobs and think about living in the lap of luxury for a while.
This, however, will not happen with Les and Barb Belt who own Silverbelt Septic Service in Rimbey.
“We’re not quitting. We’re not going to take any time off now. We are going to try and take things a little bit easier. Maybe this summer we will just work Monday to Friday and take the weekends, but we are not going to quit the business or do anything like that at this point in time. We still want to keep working because we’re too young to quit.”
Belt said she and her husband and their 11-year old daughter Megan do, however, plan to pay off their land and build a new home with their winnings.
“Megan is quite excited that she gets to help us design and make her own room,” she said.
News of the couple’s big win has quickly spread throughout the community of Rimbey, said Belt.
“I went into Rimbey yesterday and had hugs all over. It was so wonderful. I just kept hugging and crying. It was so awesome.”
Belt, who was born and raised in Rimbey, said the small town is close-knit and supportive, no matter what the circumstances are.
“The Rimbey community wraps around people that have good news and bad news. It was so nice to share some happy news with everybody.”