BY SAMANTHA RUSSELL
“The luckiest student out of all of Canada” prize has been awarded to a Sheridan College student. Last Wednesday Student Life Network and CIBC hosted Canada’s Luckiest Student at The Den at Davis Campus.
CIBC has partnered on the contest for the past five years. It includes quizzes, games and challenges and more than $46,000 is available to give to one lucky student.
Tori Watson, 22, of Sheridan’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program, won the ultimate grand prize.
“I am so shocked. I honestly had no idea that I would win. This means everything to me, this money will pay off half my school debts,” Watson said.
While Watson was on stage receiving her prize she started to cry, and became overwhelmed and filled with joy. When she heard her name being called she excitedly ran to the stage.
Sheridan alumni Stephen Sills from the Illustration program, was one of the coordinators of the event. He is the co-founder at Student Life Network and teamed up with CIBC to create the Luckiest Student in Canada contest. He helped organize the surprise celebration for the lucky student at Sheridan.
‘This event is created to eliminate student debt for one student. It starts with a $20,000 giveaway from CIBC. We have prizes including trips that are worth over $30,000,” Sills explained.
The Den was decorated with balloons and confetti. At the front of the stage there were cardboard cutouts of all the prizes. The Den had booths set up where students could win extra prizes to take home. Games were offered for guests to play for prizes including trips, Maple Leaf tickets and Raptors tickets.
Watson was invited to the event but did not yet know that she had won. Coordinators planned to have the reveal at the end of the event and also invited the winners’ family as a surprise.
“The reveal itself took around three weeks. We randomly draw a winner and once we know who the winner is and what school they go to, we reach out to the school and figure out who to contact at the school to help plan the reveal. Our goal this year was to build a party that was private to all the Student Life Network members,” Sills added.
More than 300 students and staff attended the three-hour event. The Den’s staff provided a make-your-own poutine bar for guests.
Watson’s family surprised her while she was up on stage getting her prize. They walked up from the side stairs so that she wouldn’t notice.
“I have entered Canada’s luckiest student for five years in a row now and every day I was in the challenges, and doing the vouchers and I even asked my dad for help because there was tons of sports questions. I honestly had no clue and it didn’t clue in to me that my family was in on this,” Watson added.