Havre Daily News
A Browning couple went to Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation on Tuesday afternoon for a relative's funeral and will be returning home about $85,000 richer.
About 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Joe Gervais, 44, went to the Bear Paw Casino with his brother-in-law, Frank Goings, to kill some time.
“We were coming back from the wake and (Frank) said, “Hey, let's go in there and play $5,'” Gervais said.
Gervais had only spent about five minutes in the casino playing Redbeard's Riches, one of the 80 gaming machines in the casino. After spending $10 in the machine, he saw the flashing lights and had won $85,158.70.
“I thought, well, I owe the IRS about $20,000,” he said. “So I thought that I could pay them off now.”
His 27-year-old wife, Rochelle Fleury, wasn't with Gervais when he won. Fleury's aunt, Sharon Patacsil, died of cancer and her funeral today was the reason Fleury and Gervais were at Rocky Boy.
“They said that he had hit and I thought they meant he was hit by a car,” Fleury said. “So I freaked out.”
Besides using the money to help pay bills, Gervais and Fleury said they will probably buy a new car for Gervais' 18-year-old daughter's graduation present.
Chippewa Cree Community Development Corporation business manager Bob Swan was happy for the couple and said he is eager for the opening of the Northern Winz Casino, which is under construction at the reservation.
Bear Paw Casino manager Mary Clark said she also was pleased.
“I'm very happy that somebody hit the jackpot in Bear Paw Casino and hopefully we'll have more winners in the future,” Clark said.