85-year-old B.C. lottery winner surprises sister with new car
PETAWAWA, ONT. -- “Oh my God! I’m so excited!” Barb Randall says, as she records herself heading up a driveway. “We’re almost there!”
The 85-year-old has travelled from Nanaimo, B.C., to Petawawa, Ont., to surprise the sister she hasn’t seen in years.
“Don’t start the party without me!” Barb yells while opening the car door, her phone still recording, preparing to crash Norma’s 75th birthday gathering with a priceless gift.
“Is that Barb?!” Norma Huff asks, confused, before screaming with excitement and rushing over to hug her big sister.
“I just about died!” Norma says, after the surprise. “Barb has always been like a second mom to me!”
But their 10-year age gap is not the reason Barb will never forget the day Norma was born.
“(Her birth) took a second place to the plumbers there (at our house),” Barb recalls with a laugh. “They were putting an indoor toilet in.”
A humble beginning that inspired a lifetime of generous giving from Norma.
“She’s the best person I know,” Barb smiles.
Barb says her sister hasn’t retired yet. Instead of spending money on herself, Norma’s working to support others, like the local homeless shelter she was instrumental in starting.
“I see so many people with nothing,” Norma says. “It’s so nice to give something to people.”
Which brings us to Barbara’s prayer.
“I said, ‘Please Lord,’” Barb recalls. “‘Let me win the big lottery.’”
Barb says her prayer was answered when she recently won a five-figure prize, but it was never for her.
“I felt something right here in my heart,” Barb says, holding her chest. “I said, 'I can get Norma Jean a car!'”
So Barb spent almost all of her winnings to surprise her sister with her first new car in more than 40 years.
When Barb presents her with the keys, the full range of Norma’s reaction is caught on camera — from confusion to disbelief to gratitude.
There’s also a lot of laughter and happy tears.
Barb says she wanted to give back to the sister who’s given so much to so many.
“If you knew her, you’d do it too,“ Barb says, before laughing. “And anyway, I’m 85 years old. I’m on the downward slope! What do I need with a new car?!”
As Barb and Norma embrace on camera, they exemplify what they’ve learned from each other over the years: it’s the time we spend together that’s priceless, and the best gifts you get are the ones you give.