Raffle winner gives 70" flatscreen to supermarket cashier
As thrilled as Zola French-Ray was to finally win something, she decided that the 70” smart TV should go to the grocery store cashier who insisted she fill out the raffle ticket.
The West Pembroke Primary School teacher felt it was the right thing to do, given the current economy; she also thought it would eventually be a good “teaching moment” for her son Lucas, who turns one next month.
“I never win anything so when the cashier at Lindo’s in Devonshire gave me the ticket to fill out I said, ‘Oh, don’t worry about it.’”
However, as she started to make her way towards the door, Gloria Hayward insisted she take the few seconds necessary to write down her name and phone number.
Up for grabs in Lindo’s Touchdown Promotion were two grand prizes. Billed as ‘Ultimate Tailgate Packages’ they promised a flatscreen television, one case each of bottlegreen cordial and Le Bleu water and two cases each of the beer of the winner’s choice, Cheezits, Pringles and Grace chicken wings.
Held in conjunction with BGA in honour of the Super Bowl, the promotion also offered a variety of ‘scratch card prizes’ such as Downey Infusion Softeners and Mr Clean packs.
To be eligible for entry, shoppers at Lindo’s Devonshire and Warwick stores had to purchase any two cleaning or detergent products by Procter & Gamble.
Said Ms French-Ray: “[The cashier] said, ‘Come back and just fill it out.’ So I filled it out and then I got this call from someone at BGA a week or two weeks later and they said I was one of the grand prize winners.”
Her husband, Darrien Ray, was “happy with the wings and the beer” and the rest of the items they were given.
“I said, ‘Well I wouldn’t have won this if it wasn’t for her, because she made me come back and fill out this winning ticket.’ So we decided to give her the TV.
“I went in [to Lindo’s last] Monday afternoon just hoping she would be there and I pulled her aside and I told her. I think she was in shock. She didn’t really know whether to believe me or not but she digested the news.”
Ms French-Ray took the cashier’s number and followed up with a phone call. Ms Hayward and her husband collected the TV the following night.
“My son was in the bath at the time,” she said. “I yanked him out of the tub and wrapped him in a towel and got a picture of her with him because I want to tell him the story one day – you’re never too young to learn about the gift of giving.”
A regular shopper at the Devonshire grocery store, she said she had seen Ms Hayward there before “but didn’t really know her”.
“She’s so sweet – she wants to buy Lucas something for his first birthday. It’s crazy how these connections can be made just through something like that.
“I’ve filled out a lot of raffles – like we all have – but I’ve never had a win so I don’t expect it and when you don’t expect it … there you go.”
Ms Hayward said she had never received such a huge gift from an absolute stranger before.
“I was really surprised. My eyes were wide open. All I could say was ‘Are you for real? You’re kidding me right?
“She was like ‘No, I’m serious.’ I said, ’Ok.’”
The cashier, who has worked at Lindo’s for the past “two or three years” said she remembers calling Ms French-Ray back to get her to fill out the raffle and how she kept telling her it was pointless as she never had any luck.
“I said ‘Stop saying that. You might just be lucky.’ And then I saw her and she told me she won it.”
As fate would have it, she had been having problems with her television.
“When you turned the volume up it started popping, making a popping noise,” Ms Hayward explained.
Once she took the news in she said she “couldn’t stop saying thank you” to Ms French-Ray.
She has already set the television up in her own home.
“I am enjoying it. It’s amazing,” Ms Hayward said.
Although they are not huge fans of American football Ms French-Ray said she and her husband enjoyed having family members over on Super Bowl Sunday and being able to share “all the food that came with the winning prize”.
Asked why she decided to give the television away instead of selling it, Ms French-Ray said: “I think with this year and what people have been going through these past couple of months, we’ve just all got to do our part and try to pay it forward when we have the opportunity to.
“I hope it kind of triggers people in the future when they win raffles like this just to consider maybe doing something similar. It doesn’t have to be a TV but just giving something to someone. You never know what impact you can make on someone’s life. It’s important.”