Kamloops resident Nicole Larson is moving out of her parent’s place and into a brand new home.
The 48-year-old is the winner of the 2020 Kamloops Y Dream Home.
Touring her newly acquired abode on Wednesday with 18-year-old daughter Brie within an hour of learning she had won, Larson still couldn’t believe she was the lucky recipient.
“Unreal, very unreal,” Larson told KTW.
Larson plans to move into the $700,000 home in Orchards Walk with her daughter and dog, moving out of her mother’s house out in Brocklehurst.
The win is big for Larson, who said she had been looking for her own place for some time, noting the Kamloops housing market is expensive and she hadn’t found anything that suited her needs.
“I don’t have to buy a house and I get a house, so it takes care of the whole mortgage part,” Larson said.
All tickets for the annual lottery were sold online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with all 17,000 selling out in 12 days. Group packs sold out in about a day, but Larson managed to log on and purchase one.
“I think I bought them maybe within the first hour of the tickets opening,” she said.
Larson said the dream home is beautiful and she is particularly fond of the layout, large walk-in closet in the master bathroom and the butler’s pantry.
“My daughter has celiac disease, so it’s nice that she can have a separate place that she doesn’t have to worry about any cross-contamination of food,” she said.
In a bit of foreshadowing, Larson toured the house a few weeks ago during an open house for suppliers of the project.
Larson works for Casadio & Sons Ready Mix and was at work on Wednesday morning when she received the phone call from Y Dream Home Lottery spokesman Bryce Herman.
“The dedication paid off,” said Larson, who buys tickets annually and won a car in the lottery years ago, when she was pregnant with her daughter.
WATCH THE VIDEO OF BRYCE HERMAN CALLING NICOLE LARSON AND TELLING HER SHE WON THE Y DREAM HOME
This year’s draw was done via a random number generator rather than by way of the usual spun barrel.
Herman said that change was made due to COVID-19, but added organizers hope to use it going forward as it is more efficient.
“Last year, we spent close to seven hours doing draws physically. Literally, the random generator has our job done for us … in 30 minutes,” Herman said, noting emails are also sent out right after the draw to all winners.
There were 833 prizes, including the grand prize home, handed out this year, and a 50/50 draw that landed Romans Manyiel $198,842.50. This year’s odds of winning any prize were 1 in 20 — the lottery’s best odds ever.
To see a list of all the 2020 winners go to ydreamhome.ca.
The annual lottery raises money for Kamloops YMCA-YWCA programs. The home was built by members of the Central Interior chapter of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association and students and staff from the Thompson Rivers University trades program.
Before the home became Larson’s dream come true, it was the Training House for the CHBA-CI and TRU’s trades program. Last month, the two organizations won a Gold Georgie Trophy at the 28th Georgie Awards gala (held online this year) that honours the best in home building in B.C. The Training House won in the Best Public Private Partnership category.