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Winning June 2021’s 50/50 draw helped Meryl Penman to check an item off of her bucket list

November 20, 2023

We caught up with one of our previous 50/50 winners to find out how the big jackpot enabled her to treat her family and realize her dreams.

Meryl Penman standing on a sandy beach and smiling

When Brantford’s Meryl Penman won Drayton Entertainment's 50/50 jackpot in June 2021, she split her $85,790 winnings with one of her daughters, but she still had enough left to check one item off of her bucket list.

“I’ve always wanted to spend Christmas on the beach, so we went down to the Dominican Republic last Christmas with all the family,” she says, adding that she travelled with “two daughters, one husband, and three grandchildren. We sat on the beach Christmas Day, and it was lovely.”

After her vacation treat, Penman decided to be more practical with the rest of her windfall.

“We paid for renovations around the house. They always need doing, don’t they? We’ve been away for weekends, and we also put some in an account that we call ‘fun money’. And we bought lots of theatre tickets.”

The Cardiff native immigrated from Wales five decades ago. “We were young, I was a student nurse, and we decided we'd apply to Canada. When we got married, we came over here three weeks later.”

Brantford resident Meryl Penman during a recent trip back to the country of her birth.

Penman had planned on seeing the 2020 Season’s shows at Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge and St. Jacobs Country Playhouse before the theatres went dark during the pandemic. “It was a rough time, with everything closing down,” she says.

She bought 50/50 lottery tickets as a way to keep supporting Drayton Entertainment. “We got a lot back in return, with all of the great shows."

Although musicals are her favourite, she also enjoys the range of productions that she sees on Drayton Entertainment's stages. 

“I like dramas. We did 12 Angry Men, which was very good, and American Son. It’s nice to see a mix.”

The theatre-lover adds, “We just saw Evita, which was amazing. I think it was the best performance we’ve ever seen. You come away thinking, ‘Gosh, I wish I could sing,’ but it’s probably a bit too late for us!” 

The December raffle will run through 11:59 p.m. on November 30, with a Grand Prize draw at noon on December 1. Tickets are available for purchase online at, with three tickets for $10, 40 tickets for $20, or 100 tickets for $40.

The jackpot is updated online in real-time and grows as more people participate – the published amount is the winner’s take-home prize.

Tickets may be purchased by individuals 18 years or older and located in the Province of Ontario at the time of purchase. All ticket sales are final and ticket buyers will receive a receipt via email after purchasing that will list all numbers associated with the purchased tickets.

Tickets are sold using an electronic raffle system approved by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and supplied by Bump Worldwide Inc. Raffle License AGCO #RAF1232607. Please play responsibly. Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline 1-888-230-3505 or visit For complete details, including rules of participation and frequently asked questions, please visit:

About Drayton Entertainment

Drayton Entertainment is an award-winning, not-for-profit charitable arts organization (12591 1313 RR0001) operating six professional live theatre venues in five Ontario communities – the original Drayton Festival Theatre in Drayton, Huron Country Playhouse (Mainstage and South Huron Stage) in Grand Bend, King’s Wharf Theatre in Penetanguishene, St. Jacobs Country Playhouse and Schoolhouse Theatre in St. Jacobs, and the Hamilton Family Theatre in Cambridge.

Drayton Entertainment is one of the largest employers of professional artists in the country across all artistic disciplines with over 400 artist contracts issued annually. The organization’s sustainable theatre model has emerged as a powerful force for culture and tourism in the province and has been recognized by the office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario as well as the Ontario Innovation Excellence Awards.