Meet the woman who won the largest 50-50 draw in Nova Scotia history

Meet the woman who won the largest 50-50 draw in Nova Scotia history

A Nova Scotia woman says she never believed she’d become a millionaire and win the largest 50-50 draw in the province’s history.

On Thursday evening, Kayla Eldridge was announced as the winner of the Nova Scotia Firefighters 50-50 online raffle, which was described as the largest draw of its kind in the history of the province.

Eldridge won a staggering $1,467,620.

“I never thought in a million years that something like this would happen to me,” she said.

Eldridge, who works as a LPN while taking classes part-time to become a registered nurse, said she learned of her winnings when a call came in from Amherst without any caller identification.

She said she was hesitant to answer because she didn’t know of anyone from that Nova Scotia town.

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“They asked if it was Kayla, do you have anybody with you, are you sitting down,” she continued. “And then they told me that I just won.”

“I started crying.”

The 50-50 draw, which is designed to raise money to support firefighters across the province, is a weekly online jackpot that is hosted by Nova Scotia Firefighters 50-50, a non-profit group.

The total jackpot was $2.9 million, with 269 departments receiving the remaining proceeds from ticket sales following the split.

Eldridge said the first thing she plans on doing is using the money to pay off her remaining student-loan debt.

“It’s kind of exciting that I don’t have to worry about student debt anymore. I’ve gone to school many times, so I have quite a bit of student debt,” she said.

She also hopes to purchase a new house with a little more storage space. She said she plans on gifting her current home to her brother and 5-year-old nephew once she’s moved.

When asked about her decision to buy tickets for the draw, Eldridge revealed that she purchased them “last-minute”, right before the deadline.

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“I only spent ten bucks, got three numbers, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to win,” she said.

As for her holiday plans, she said the exciting news hasn’t changed how she’s planning to spend her Christmas.

“I’m going to spend Christmas with my family,” she said. “Go to my parents for supper tonight and then go to my aunt’s house for a party later.”

She said she’s just excited to have a few days of work off for the holidays.

The Hantsport Fire Department, Eldridge’s local fire hall, will receive a $1,000 bonus from the draw.

Skye Bryden-Blom

Eldridge purchased her tickets in support of the Hantsport Fire Department, which means her local fire station will receive bonus earnings of $1,000 in addition to the amount they’ll receive from the initial split.

“In an area like this, all of our firefighters are volunteers and they’re a big part of our community, so to help them out is a no brainer really,” she said.

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The next online draw hosted by Nova Scotia Firefighters 50-50 will be on December 29.