This year’s PNE prize home winner is Gibsons’ Dean Cockerill, who will share the $1.3 million luxury home with his common-law wife Dianna Barton.
It was Barton who received the phone call announcing Cockerill’s win on Sept. 5, shortly after his ticket was pulled from more than 100,000 entries.
“Dean was actually in Manitoba visiting his parents,” Barton said, noting his cell phone wasn’t working at the time. “I told them I was his wife and they said ‘oh wonderful, stay on the line, stay on the line,’ and they’re yelling ‘we’ve got his wife, we’ve got his wife, keep her there, keep her there’ so I’m getting excited and wondering what’s going on but then I thought, ‘wait a second this might be a prank, calm down Dianna, just relax’.”
Once she heard the words “PNE prize home” she knew it was for real.
“Of course by this time I’m all tingly and excited and yelling ‘I can’t believe I won’ and I’m on cloud nine for a little while and then of course I phoned Dean at his parents’,” Barton said.
It turned out that Cockerill was en route to his parents’ house completely unaware of his monumental win.
“They sat on their porch and had a cold drink waiting for Dean and he drives up and goes, ‘uh, oh, what’s going on?’” Barton said, noting Cockerill was worried that something was wrong. “So his dad says, ‘well you are now a millionaire’ … and he was confused and didn’t understand, and his mom said, ‘you have won the PNE prize home.’”
Cockerill said it took a little while for the news to sink in but that it was an exciting time.
“Having my mom and dad tell me that and being with family and friends made it a million times better,” he said.
Once back on the Coast Cockerill and Barton travelled to Vancouver to sign the official paperwork for the prize home, but the pair never got to tour their new abode.
It was already being dismantled for the trip to Sun Peaks resort where it will be reassembled and ready to welcome Cockerill and Barton in about six months time.
“We only got to see it on the virtual walk-through,” Barton said, noting she was thrilled to see the home comes with “a dishwasher and top of the line everything.”
Neither Cockerill nor Barton are skiers, but Cockerill said he’ll “have to learn” if he’s going to have a house at a ski resort.
The pair are looking forward to welcoming friends and family to their vacation home next year and said they plan to keep it for a few years at least before possibly selling it.
The couple thanks the community for their congratulations, which have been coming in since Cockerill’s name was made public last week.
“I appreciate all the support and the congrats from everybody. I didn’t hear any negativity at all and that was great,” Cockerill said. “Everybody has been really good to me and it’s a new beginning for sure. It’s going to be fun.”
This year’s PNE prize home is 3,000 square feet with three bedrooms and four bathrooms. It comes completely furnished and the grand prize package includes house-cleaning services for one year and a $2,500 grocery package from Market Place IGA.