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Dad who donated poppies to Edmonton shoppers wins $20K in Remembrance Day lottery draw

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A local veteran who donated hundreds of dollars to outfit Edmontonians with poppies earlier this month won $20,000 in the Cash and Cars Lottery draw on Remembrance Day.

In early November, Aaron Hutton and his daughters handed out poppies to West Edmonton Mall shoppers who weren't wearing one.

He ended up donating several times, eventually handing out $300 worth of poppies.

“For me it wasn’t about the money it was just like -- it was the principle,” he told CTV News Edmonton.

On Monday, Hutton received a call from the Alberta Cancer Foundation letting him know he’d won cash in Friday’s ‘Win Daily’ lottery draw, in which cash is awarded to a winner every day for the month of November.

“The cash prize on Nov. 11 was $20,000, and you’ve won it!” the representative told Hutton over the phone.

“No way, is this real?” Hutton can be heard saying with a laugh in the video captured by the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

Hutton told CTV News Edmonton on Tuesday despite the fact that the call came from Alberta Health Services, he couldn’t believe it was real.

“My fiancé said, ‘You forgot that you bought the tickets for it,’ and I said, ‘Yes, I did, actually,’ so I did think it was fake. I had to go online to double verify.”

“We were just kind of blown away by the timing of it, especially being Remembrance Day.”

Hutton says the family supports a number of charitable initiatives every year.

“The Cancer Foundation being one of them, the children’s Stollery, as well as anything related to veterans, Remembrance Day.

I just think it’s very important. We have to sacrifice a little bit of our money, that we might not be able to do something over the next week or two for a better cause, then we’ll do it.”

This was the first year Hutton bought a ticket for the Cash and Cars Lottery.

He says the win came at a good time with the holidays around the corner, but while the family will use some of the cash for their own Christmas, he’s already making more plans to give back.

“We’ve already dedicated a certain portion that’s going to go towards our church, and another portion that we do that we are going to use to do something really cool,” he told CTV News Edmonton.

“We’ll probably go to the grocery store and unexpectedly pay for a group of people’s groceries to pay it forward.”

Hutton says paying it forward is a mentality he tries to live by.

“I’ve always tried to teach my daughters that, and that’s how we kind of live. Even little things like I encourage people to pay for someone’s coffee behind them. That feeling that it gives you.”

This is the 23rd year for the Cash and Cars Lottery, which has raised over $38 million for people in Alberta fighting cancer. 

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Marek Tkach.

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