The 2020 Pacific National Exhibition Prize Home will soon settle in Pemberton’s Sunstone development, and when it does, it will house a local couple.
Heidi and Fritz Kym were announced as this year’s winners of the long-running contest on Sept. 14.
As contest organizers were unable to reach them in advance, Heidi said they got the news in an indirect way.
“We were driving from Whistler to Pemberton, and our neighbour phoned us and said, ‘They’re looking for you, where are you?’” Heidi recalls. “She said, ‘You won.’
“I was screaming and my husband was driving. I had to be careful that he [was] not driving into the ditch.”
When they arrived home, there were PNE reps onsite confirming the good news and informing them of the next steps.
“It’s absolutely out of this world,” she said.
As previously reported (“PNE prize home coming to Pemberton,” www.piquenewsmagazine.com, May 25, 2020), the 3,188-square-foot, three-bedroom and two-and-a-half bathroom home, valued at more than $2 million, will settle in the Sunstone development.
The house is currently still at the PNE grounds in Vancouver and will be transported up in the spring, Heidi said.
That means that the family can consider what to do with their current property without rushing into a decision.
“We can think about just what we’re going to do, but I can tell you that it’s an amazing, beautiful house,” Heidi said. “It’s incredible and I said to my husband, ‘We’re going to live in there for a while.’”
The home, built by Kelowna's Freeport Industries, is defined as being net-zero-ready, meaning it produces as much energy as it consumes. Such features include high-performance windows and doors and wall insulation that can reduce energy use up to 80 per cent.
It is also comes fully furnished with several luxurious amenities.
“It looks very comfortable,” she said. “It has everything that you could wish for.
“It has a game room that my husband likes very much. It has a bar, a hot tub and a sauna. It has a beautiful kitchen.
“It’s a dream.”
Heidi said she bought 10 tickets for the draw—five in her name and five with Fritz’s—with one of her husband’s tickets being selected.
The family, Heidi said, attends the PNE nearly every summer, tours the prize home and regularly buys tickets at the fair. However, with access to the midway limited to a drive-thru experience this summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Kyms feeling wary of making purchases over the internet, they were actually planning to forgo entering this year until they received a flyer explaining how to enter via snail mail.
“We always buy a ticket, because that’s what you do. You could walk through the house in those days,” she said.
Since the news came out, Heidi said the family has been overwhelmed with congratulations and well-wishers.
“The phone is ringing hot. With email … I cannot keep up, to be honest with you,” she said. “Right now, we feel like celebrities.”
Fritz, a Lions Club member and long-time fixture on Whistler Mountain who recently retired, has lived in town for 36 years while Heidi has been in Pemberton for the past 21 years after previously living in Whistler.
According to the PNE, roughly 623,000 tickets were sold in all. A spokesperson for the fair said there was “fantastic support” for the lottery from residents of Pemberton, Whistler and Squamish. The spokesperson added that while it’s unusual for a Prize Home winner to be from the hosting community, it has happened before for a Sechelt home.
There were two other local winners in the draw, as Fallon Ross won a 2020 BMW M4 Cabriolet while Dean Lefebvre went home with a $5,000 Air Transat gift card.