UPDATE: PNE Prize Home win changes Mission couple’s life

'No more Freedom 85,' says Carol Ehlers after winning $1.3 million grand prize package.

  • Sep. 12, 2014 3:00 p.m.
Carol Ehler and her husband Ralf (left) share a champagne toast with PNE President and CEO Mike McDaniel inside their new home on Thursday evening.

Carol Ehler and her husband Ralf (left) share a champagne toast with PNE President and CEO Mike McDaniel inside their new home on Thursday evening.

One phone call changed Carol Ehlers plans for the next 30 years.

Last Thursday, Ehlers answered a call from a friend who had some important news to share.

“You b…h! You won the PNE home!” the friend exclaimed.

Out of more than 112,000 entries in the 80th annual PNE Prize Home Lottery, one of Ehlers’ had been selected, making her the winner of a 2,600-sq.ft. decorated house that will soon be moved to a prime Kelowna neighbourhood.

The total value of the prize – which includes appliances, and interior and exterior furnishings – is more more than $1.3 million.

Ehlers says she had a feeling she needed to buy tickets for the annual draw. But when the news came from the friend, Ehlers didn’t know what to think. Word had reached her husband Ralf earlier, and  within minutes of her friend’s call, Ehlers’ phone began lighting up with texts from well-wishers.

“I was like, oh my God!”

Five days later, Ehlers had returned to work, but was having trouble sleeping.

“We’re too excited. Every time you go to sleep, you start dreaming and  it’s like, ‘Is it really true? Is it really true?’

“Things go through your mind on what you’re going to do.”

The plan is to sell the home once it’s moved to Kelowna. Beyond that, she has a whole new life to consider.

Ehlers, who works in the kitchen of a treatment centre, and her husband, who drives bus in Coquitlam, are both in their 50s with kids aged 15, 24 and 28. Before Thursday, retirement was a concept, not an imminent plan.

That has changed.

“I can pay for the kids’ education now, I can pay for weddings,” she said. “We can retire in a couple years. We can retire on time. It’s not going to be ‘Freedom 85.’”

The kids already have plenty of ideas about how the money should be spent, and Ehlers would like a hobby farm.

In the meantime, Christmas plans have been altered with the sudden availability of a brand-new impeccably finished home.

“Hopefully, we’ll have Christmas in Kelowna,” Ehlers said. “No matter what, family will stick together.”


Just Posted

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat greets fans outside of the Abbotsford Centre prior to the Canucks exhibition game against the Ottawa Senators in 2019. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
More jobs posted for Abbotsford AHL team

Five new opportunities accepting applicants, Comets forward Lukas Jasek signs in Finland

Singer Ben Cottrill performs during the 2019 Arty Awards at The Reach Gallery Museum, the last time the event was held in person. Cottrill received the award in the performing arts category. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Nominations now open for 2021 Arty Awards

Annual event hosted by Abbotsford Arts Council, with ceremony Sept. 25

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read