A record-setting firefighter 50-50 draw and the big payday for one family


Christmas arrived a few days early for one Nova Scotia family this year.

On Thursday evening, Brandon Milligan and Sarah Levy of Berwick became nearly two million dollars richer after winning the fourth annual Christmas 50-50 draw hosted by Nova Scotia Firefighters 50-50, a non-profit group that raises money for fire departments throughout the province by hosting weekly raffles online.

Levy said she couldn’t believe what she was reading when she realized her ticket contained the winning numbers — awarding the couple with a record-setting $1,938,508 from the total $3,877,016 jackpot. The other portion of ticket sale proceeds are distributed to more thna 200 fire departments following the split.

“I hollered down to Brandon from downstairs and was like ‘This can’t be real’,” she said in an interview with Global News on Friday. “We were pretty shocked.”

“Times are hard for everyone … having a family with two young kids (this) is definitely helpful. We’re young so we’re able to enjoy the young part of their childhood by maybe going on a nice family trip.”

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Levy added the family may consider using some of the winnings to upgrade to a new home in the near future.

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Milligan and Levy said they purchased 450 tickets altogether, as they both purchased hundreds of tickets individually — but it was one of Milligan’s tickets that ended up taking home the grand prize for the whole family.

The Berwick and District Volunteer Fire Department, where Brandon Milligan purchased the ticket, will receive an additional $1,000 bonus as the winning ticket was purchased in support of that location.

Milligan, who’s a business owner in the area, said he hopes to use some of the funds to help with his construction company as he enters their second year of operations.

“It’ll be helpful for that, keep that rolling and moving ahead,” he smiled.

Their daughter, Kynlie, popped in during her parents’ interview and added her input on where some of the money could be best spent.

“Disneyworld!” she exclaimed.

Levy said that she’s pleased knowing a large portion of the funds will be redistributed back through their community to support volunteer firefighters.

“It’s awesome. I think we should have more of them so more families can have this reward as well as supporting those fire departments that do so much for us,” she said.

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Levy said their recent winnings won’t change how they’ll be spending Christmas in 2023, but the family anticipates some new plans are on the horizon for the new year.

In addition to receiving a substantial number of congratulatory messages from family and friends alike — she added that the family has even heard from quite a few strangers.

“A lot of people (are) saying they’re happy to see a young family win which makes us feel really good. A lot of people reached out, even some that we don’t know, but that’s okay,” she laughed.

The next online draw hosted by Nova Scotia Firefighters 50-50 will be on Dec. 28.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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