Thursday, April 3, 2008

New Millionaire Lottery Winner Gives Chicken To The Crowd

Millionaire butcher gives chicken to hundreds - GTA - Millionaire butcher gives chicken to hundreds
Jose Lima greets the crowd lined up around his Bloor St. West butcher shop April 3, where he was giving away chicken.
April 03, 2008
Curtis Rush
Staff Reporter

Hundreds of people lined up outside two butcher shops today, taking advantage of an offer of free chicken from a newly minted millionaire who manages the Nosso Talho shop on Bloor St. W., near Ossington Ave., and another on Dundas St. W. near Bathurst St.

Jose Lima, a Portuguese immigrant whose brother Julio owns the shops, has worked seven days a week for years.

He may now scale back a little, thanks to a $14.6 million Lotto 6/49 jackpot he won last month.

After the win, Lima vowed to give each of the 50 employees a $5,000 cheque and give away free chicken to customers.

He chose April 3 because it was five years ago to the day that his father passed away.

"This is the biggest day of my life," he said in tears, remembering his father and the vow he made to help others in the community.

"Winning the lottery was a big day, but this is the biggest day of my life."

The lineup outside the Bloor St. W. store stretched right around the corner, with crowds so thick that security was called in.

Several times, people grew impatient with the long lines as people were told the wait would be two hours or more.

People were let in 20 or 25 at a time, although the disabled got to jump the queue.

They took a number and went to the meat counter to get their free 10-pound bag of chicken legs.

Lima said he would be giving away chicken until 8 p.m.

He had ordered 50,000 pounds of chicken, but increased that order by 10,000 pounds when he saw how large the crowds were.

A part-time employee, Jane Sousa, wasn't working this day but came anyway to see how the event unfolded. She carried a $5,000 cheque as part of the vow Lima made that the employees would share in his fortune.

"There is so much positive energy," she exclaimed as she watched people from all walks of life enter the store. "(Jose) was so happy to have won the lottery. But he's even happier to give away this food," Sousa said.

She said the employees all feel happy for Lima because of his generous, fun-loving nature.

"It's like we all won the lottery too," she said.

At one point, a friend of Lima's family gave him a big hug inside the store.

"You're a good man," said Ines Soares through the tears.

A couple other customers called out: "God bless you."

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