GREAT FALLS — Over the last year, Special Olympics Montana athletes and organizations sold 112,424 raffle tickets, netting $610,668.
Twenty of those dollars came from Shawna Beechinor - a Great Falls native who currently lives in Idaho - and last month, one of her tickets was picked as the winner of a brand-new fully-loaded 2022 Chevy Silverado.
Once her ticket was drawn, MTN anchor Tom Wylie called her cell phone to tell her she had won.
Beechinor recalled, “So the call started out, ‘This is not a scam.’ There’s big long message saying I won a truck, I didn’t believe it.”
It wasn’t until she heard the name Teresa Raynor that the reality clicked.
Raynor is a Helena athlete who also happens to be Shawna’s cousin, and sold her the winning ticket.
Raynor said, “It was cool, it was a bit of a shock that I actually won.”
And on Saturday, June 4, 2022, at City Motors in Great Falls, Beechinor learned first-hand that some things are not too good to be true. The truck is real, and it’s hers.
She received the keys from Brian Jackson, the state’s top ticket seller, and prepared for the drive back home to Boise.
Shawna was lucky this year - but even if she hadn’t won a truck, she knows her money and support were going to a good place. And her cousin was thankful.
Beechinor said, “It’s a good reminder that it doesn’t take much to support any event around you. You can do a lot to help, and you might end up with something really tremendous.”
The top three ticket sellers this year were Brian Jackson, Jon Hargett, and Jamie Darko - all from Great Falls - who sold a combined total of 13,547 tickets.