The operator of World Class Bakers, on St. Clair Ave. W., is getting in on the hype surrounding the record Powerball lottery jackpot in the U.S.
Over the next two days, the shop will being giving away up to 300 tickets for the $1.4-billion draw to customers who spend more than $20.
The promotion has already had people driving from across the city to pick up a little extra banana bread, Guluzian said.
“It’s just to cheer people up,” she said of the giveaway. “We’re in a recession, let’s forget about it for awhile.”
Guluzian said the shop, which has been in the neighbourhood for 15 years, did the same thing about a decade ago when the Powerball jackpot reached a mere $340 million. Customers had fun with it so the shop decided to buy some tickets in the U.S. and bring them back to give away.
“Everybody wants freedom,” added Guluzian. “It’s all about freedom. Everybody wants that dream. Until Wednesday at (10) p.m., everybody is going to dream that they’re the winner.”
Canadians can play the U.S. lottery but if they win, they’ll have to fork over a share of it to the taxman. Even knowing that, Raffaela Andreano, a regular at the bakery, scooped up a loaf of banana bread and a ticket Monday.
And just by chance, Andreano’s ticket happened to have her lucky numbers on it.
“I think it’s crazy,” she said of the massive jackpot. “I think it’s good, but it’s too much money. It would actually give me a heart attack if I won.”
But Andreano doesn’t have much trouble imagining what she’d do with the cash after she recovered from the shock.
“First, I’d spend some on myself,” she said. “Then I’d give to charities and help out some people — whoever needs the help.”
Customer Petee Chios said he thinks the promotion is all about spreading joy. He praised the bakery, which he dubbed his “retirement home,” as a great community business.
“She’s got a big heart,” he said of Guluzian. “You have to know her, she’s the best.”
Guluzian said she will hang on to a few tickets for friends and family but hopes that the winning ticket comes from her shop. But when asked if she’d sell her secret banana bread recipe for the $1.4-billion prize, she paused.
“I’d have to think about it,” she said, laughing. “Because it’s a real secret.”
Source Shawn Jeffords, Toronto Sun
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