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‘A dream come true:’ Surrey woman wins $1.1 million playing slots at Cloverdale casino

Shelley Araki says she will use some of her winnings to ensure her family is taken care of
Surrey’s Shelley Araki, left, is presented with a cheque for $1.1 Million by BCLC Acting Director of Operations Tom Maryschak, centre, and Michael Worth, the general manager at Elements Casino, in Surrey on Thursday (Sept. 1). (Photo: Anna Burns)

By Anna Burns / Surrey Now-Leader

Shelley Araki was on her way out of Elements Casino for the night when she decided to try her luck one last time.

She sat down at a Powerbucks progressive slot machine, pushed a button and the screen above her started flashing. At first, she thought she had won $100 – and she was excited about that.

But the numbers on the screen kept climbing.

Turns out, she won $1,157,664.03.

“I looked up and saw it had hit the jackpot,” said Araki, who lives in Surrey. “I didn’t believe it at first. I kept thinking, ‘Really? Is this happening to me?”

Araki hit the jackpot just after midnight Aug. 20 and on Thursday (Sept. 1), she was presented with a cheque for $1.1. million by Tom Maryschak, BCLC acting director of operations and Michael Worth, the general manager at Elements Casino.

Years ago, Araki had a dream that she won the lottery, so she felt that one day she would win a big one.

She has no concrete plans yet for what she will do with the money. She does not plan on retiring but will use some winnings to ensure her family is taken care of.

She says her son encouraged her to do something she would usually never do, like go on a big shopping spree or travel.

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