The 'Snack Shack Girls' Talk About Their Lottery Win - The Good And Bad

Five co-workers at a local diner won the Atlantic Lottery two years ago, but are they any happier after their win? 

Does $15 million buy you happiness?

In the case of five female co-workers at the Snack Shack diner in Kentville, Nova Scotia, who split lottery winnings two years ago, the answer is yes … and no, reports CTV News.

The five talk about their win. PHOTO: CTV News

Stephanie Dunham, Joanne Gillis, Valerie Archer and two other women who made up the "Snack Shack Girls" made national headlines when they won the Atlantic Lottery jackpot worth more than $15 million in June 2013.

Not much has changed for Dunham since the win on her 49th birthday - besides the amount of zeros in her bank account.

After a brief vacation, she's back at the Snack Shack but with a key difference – she's now the owner.

The restaurant had closed down, so she purchased it as a gift to herself and to her community.

"I just had to have this place back open, it's been a landmark here since, I think, 1934," Dunham told CTV Atlantic. "...kind of a shame to have it close down."

The diner's grand re-opening on Monday had help from a familiar face.

The Snack Shack at the grand opening. PHOTO: CTV News

Former co-worker Joanne Gillis jumped at a chance to take on the breakfast shift again, although everyone knows that she's under no pressure to work.

And they aren't the only two in the group that still keep in close contact. Gillis says the Snack Shack Girls meet once a month.

And while Gillis and Dunham have settled into life as millionaires by keeping to their old habits, Archer struggled to adjust.

Valerie Archer has struggled to come to terms with her win. PHOTO: CTV News

"I called the lottery company probably two weeks after we got the cheque," said Archer. "I said: 'Can I give it back?'"

Archer admits she has dealt with anxiety after cashing in her $3.4-million portion. Entirely unpretentious, she stills lives in the same small house where she grew up, although she has done some major renovations.

Archer's only other indulgence was a new car, which is now two years old.

She says it has also been difficult dealing with the surge in popularity.

"You got friends coming out of the woodwork who you haven't talked to in years, and it's like 'Oh, OK, you remembered who I was," said Archer.

Stephanie Dunham owns the diner now. PHOTO: CTV News

And while the Snack Shack Girls is now more of a millionaires' club than group of co-workers, Dunham says it is still taking some getting used to.

"You have no idea how much money it is, even when you see it in your bank account," said Dunham.

"I can say the number and say 'Yeah, that's a lot of money,' but to picture how much that would be, (I have) no idea."


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