Kamloops woman handed keys to 2017 Y Dream Home

By Vanessa Ybarra
July 7, 2017 - 11:00am Updated: July 7, 2017 - 6:10pm

KAMLOOPS — It was the phone call of a lifetime for one Kamloops woman.

Earlier this week, Beverley Ireland was told she was the winner of this year's Y Dream Home.

The retiree was one of 11,500 people who entered the draw to win the eco-friendly, state-of-the art home in Juniper Ridge, with all proceeds going towards the Kamloops YMCA.

On Friday, she and her husband were handed the keys to their brand-new home.

Two days after winning the Y Dream Home, Beverley and Gary Ireland are still in shock.

"I've won little bits here and there in the 6/49 lottery but never something like this, it's just unbelievable," said Ireland.

"It's still surreal," said Gary Ireland. "I'm standing in the home now and it's still surreal."

Beverely bought two single tickets for a chance to win the state-of-the-art home in Juniper Ridge.

Earlier this week they received the call that they were the 21st annual Y Dream Home winners.

"We were watching The Dr. Oz Show and I said to Gary 'turn off the TV, turn off the TV!," said Ireland. 

"I'm thinking we won a car or maybe a lawnmower," said Gary Ireland. "She looks at me and says 'It's the house!' I couldn't believe it."

The four-thousand square foot home is quite the change from the couples one-level residence in Sun Rivers.

It includes a modern open-concept kitchen, media den, and a stunning view of the South Thompson river valley.

"Whether you're in the kitchen or in the living room, the view is unbelievable," said Beverley Ireland.

Even Gary, who as a 37-year realtor has seen quite a few homes in Kamloops, is impressed.

"It's well put together," said Ireland. "TRU and the sub trades did an amazing job. The fit and finish is superior."

The Y Dream Home Lottery has been running for 21 years.

For lottery spokesperson Bryce Herman, handing the keys over to the lucky winner never gets old.

"You get to watch people as you realize that this is going to make a huge difference in their life," said Herman. "Out of 21 homes, virtually all of them have been won by Kamloops people and if we have anybody who isn't from here there's always a Kamloops connection."

Proceeds from the Y Home ticket sales goes towards improving and  expanding Kamloops YMCA services.

This year more than $200-thousand was raised, with $3-million raised in total.

"It's critical to our operations," said Colin Reid, CEO of Kamloops YMCA. "It's our biggest fundraiser. Without the 21 years of Kamloops Y Dream Home Lottery, the Kamloops YMCA would be a different organization today."

As for Beverley, who is the primary owner of the home, the big question remains.

"I can't say for sure if we're going to sell or move."

The Irelands say they are leaning towards selling the home and giving some of the money to their five kids, as well get in a few extra rounds of golf.

For now, it's about enjoying the biggest win and surprise of their life.

Little Fort residents ordered to evacuate