Sports

Million dollar throw

Mark Gentili
Ron Trottier gets in a little practice at the Osoyoos curling club. Watch him throw a rock for a million bucks this Sunday on CBC.

Ron Trottier gets in a little practice at the Osoyoos curling club. Watch him throw a rock for a million bucks this Sunday on CBC.

Folks who turn into the BDO Classic Canadian Open of curling this weekend, just might see a familiar face with a curling rock in his hand.

Ron Trottier and his wife Louise left the frigid north for the dry southwest - Osoyoos, British Columbia - in 1989. He was born and raised in Kapuskasing; she, in Moonbeam.

He got a call on Jan. 7 informing him that he had won an all-expenses-paid trip to Winnipeg after his name was selected from thousands of entrants in an online contest by Capital One Financial Corp. He thought he was being conned.

It turned out he wasn't. The Capital One Million Dollar Button contest was for real.

"I've never really won anything," he said.

Capital One sponsors the Grand Slam of Curling series. The company ran a competition giving five Canadians the chance to compete to see which of them could throw one rock for a shot at cash. If it lands on the button, he or she wins a $1 million.

Besides the shot to compete, the semi-finalists won their flights to Winnipeg, accommodations and $500 in spending money, as well as VIP passes to the Canadian Open.

Four semi-finalists have already been selected; two in quarter-final qualifiers where they actually had to throw a rock; and two by draw. A fifth finalist will earn a spot by throwing a rock on Saturday in a competition between six fans at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. The throw closest to the button wins a shot.

Folks can see the five finalists shoot for the button on Sunday on CBC during the fourth end break of the BDO Classic, airing at about 2 p.m.

Turcotte was an avid curler when he lived in Kapuskasing, he said, and even though he is the custodian at the Osoyoos curling club in the winter, he does not curl much anymore.

"I was skipping (when he lived in Kap), but that's not the same as doing it on live TV," he said, adding that he has "thrown a few rocks" in preparation for this weekend.

Either way, Trottier added, even if he does not win any money, he's not too concerned. After all, he said, it's a free vacation.

Ron Trottier gets in a little practice at the Osoyoos curling club. Watch him throw a rock for a million bucks this Sunday on CBC. (Photo by Karen Knelson, Osoyoos Times)



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