Robert O’Brien had a good feeling when he bought his winning ticket days before the Children's Hospital Central California Gold Treasure Giveaway was broadcasted live on KMPH Fox 26. “I told my wife it’s time we were blessed,” said O’Brien of his reason for making the special trip to the Fresno Coin Gallery to spend $50 for a chance to win $50,000 or 29 ounces of pure gold.
O’Brien was pleased to support the Hospital where his niece, Brittany Wilkinson, spent much of her childhood. “She passed away at the Hospital a little over three years ago,” he said. “She had been suffering with mitochondrial disease and she spent several months a year in the Hospital.”
The Children's Hospital Foundation limited the number of tickets to 5,000. From the first day they went on sale – Good Friday – until the hour-long broadcast June 3, the lure of winning big while supporting Central California’s only hospital exclusively for kids helped Children’s Hospital raise $250,000.
Skip Nugent of Best Buy Supermarkets, a long-time supporter of the Hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit, offered his Visalia, Hanford and Lemoore locations as ticket outlets. The Fresno Coin Gallery and Children's Hospital Central California also distributed the popular tickets, which sold consistently throughout the promotion.
KMPH Fox 26 helped raise awareness of the event by televising stories about the amazing people and incredible care offered at Children’s on their morning show, Great Day, and their 10 o"clock news program. In addition, the live TV special the day of the giveaway,included interviews with patients and their families, as well as Dr. Robert Kezirian, a pediatric emergency medicine physician, and Father Simon Bancroft-Howson, a chaplain, both from Children’s Hospital. The hour-long broadcast culminated with the announcement of the winners.
Stephen Foster of the Fresno Coin Gallery donated the prizes to Children's Hospital Central California and encouraged his company’s suppliers to purchase tickets. One of his suppliers, a metal refining service from Illinois, won a gold and diamond bracelet. All other winners live in the Central Valley.
Gold Treasure Giveaway Winners:
- Grand prize of 29 troy ounce Swiss bars of gold – Robert O’Brien of Fresno
- Gold and diamond tennis bracelet – Rosie Tapia of Sanger
- Gold and diamond bracelet – Precious Metal Refining Services of Illinois
- One troy ounce Swiss bar of gold – Stanley A. Cassaday of Visalia (Early Bird Prize)