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CityPlace’s multimillion-dollar lottery dream

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Alphonse Nguyen has a dream.


“Can you imagine if 100 people showed up? ” he asks.

Where? Well, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming office.

Alphonse started an initiative where he buys a huge lottery ticket and asks CityPlacers on Facebook if they want in.

“They just reply “I’m in.” If the ticket wins, then we get together and celebrate and then go down to the OLG office.”

The prize would only be shared if it’s the jackpot, Alphonse explained.

He had the idea when he first joined the Facebook group.


He noticed the dynamic of the group was mostly friendly so he wanted to do something fun.

“I just wanted to see if people wanted to join. You never know until you try. Somehow, the first time I did it, people just came together. The chances of winning are low, but people were positive.”

At the time fewer than 100 people joined. Over time it started growing.

The program is only open to people in CityPlace. “It’s all about community spirit,” Alphonse explained.

Alphonse did experience some negativity and said he simply excluded them.

“Even when you want to do something positive, there’s always someone negative,” he said. “Some complained about the odds, and that defeated the purpose of what I’m doing.”

But not all are bad.

The funniest comment on Facebook?

“One lady is always particular about saying thank you,” Alphonse laughed.

416 Mag guessed it was Deb Tsea, a CityPlace Facebook regular, and we were right.

Deb is popular for her politeness, witty remarks and her hilarious overuse of a variety of emojis.


Deb isn’t the only popular one. Alphonse says that sometimes when he’s walking around the neighbourhood and even outside of it, people come up to him and say “Wow are you Alphonse?”

He says that most of his time otherwise is focused on work in communications for the Toronto Transit Commission.

Since the program is going well, he plans to continue even though the chance of winning is slim.

“If you don’t take the risk you don’t know,” Alphonse says, ending our chat. “When your luck comes, it just comes.”


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Diana Pereira

Diana Pereira is a journalist, a university journalism teacher, a world traveller, a fair-weather kayaker, and a frequent bruncher. She's working on her mermaid status, travelling to as many countries as she can that include a body of water and when she's home in Toronto, you can find her in a kayak on Lake Ontario.

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