Congratulations to Cassidy Rist of Santa Fe, NM, the grand prize winner in our 2008-2009 Prius raffle! Cassidy learned of our raffle through a friend at the College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking program, and entered by phone a few days before the January 31 drawing.
Rist, a 29-year-old emergency veterinarian in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is originally from Gainesville, Florida. She and her boyfriend of five years, Jason Straw, a student of the Fine Woodworking Program at College of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg and also from Gainesville, plan to return to there in August when his program is finished.
“Jason and I originally bought 5 tickets in December- he LOVES raffles and convinced me to go in on the tickets. About 3 days before the drawing took place he called me and convinced me (basically pestered me) into buying another 5 tickets [by phone]. I remember saying “Jason, this is silly, I never win anything.” But I figured it would shut him up and I would be helping out a local school.
“I work nights. The day of the drawing I woke up around 6 pm to find a voice mail on my phone with numerous people yelling and screaming and someone saying “You won the raffle!” I completely ignored the message assuming that Jason had set up a prank and had all of his classmates at school in on the joke. Anyone who knows Jason knows that is exactly what he would do. I didn’t even think for one moment that I had actually won.
“That night I went out to dinner with a friend and received a call from Hilleary Burgess. He was calling to tell me I had won the raffle and I spent at least 5 minutes trying to get him to tell me that Jason had put him up to the call. It took a while for me to be convinced, but when I finally was, I was in shock. I told the waitress that I had just won a Prius and she told every one in the restaurant- people kept coming up to congratulate me- I even got a margarita on the house. I called Jason right away and the funny thing is that he thought I was trying to fool him! We obviously like to play pranks on each other.
“I’ve wanted a Prius for a long time. I’m currently still driving the Ford Ranger I’ve had since I was 19 years old. About two weeks ago I saw a used Prius for sale in the local paper for a pretty good price and I was thinking about trying to buy it. I remember talking to Jason about it and he said “Wait until after the raffle- what if we win?” I never even once thought the winning ticket would have my name on it. Good thing I waited!
“So now I have the car that I have wanted for a long time. I’m giving my truck away to one of the technicians I work with, and Jason and I will be driving the Prius back to Florida this August. I feel like the luckiest person on earth.”