“I made a pact with life”: winner for life, she gives back

A nurse from the Laurentians has been giving back a hundredfold to her community since she won the jackpot 16 years ago, inspiring her fellow citizens to follow her in her humanitarian project.

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“I made a pact with life. When I bought my ticket, I told myself that if I won, I would do this until the end of my days. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else,” says Rachel Lapierre, president and founder of Book Humanitarian, an organization in Saint-Jérôme that helps people in need.

It was in 2008 in a grocery store in Saint-Sauveur, but the 62-year-old woman still remembers it as if it were yesterday.

She had her hands full with her four teenagers at home, her job in the emergency room and the Humanitarian Book, to which she wanted to give more time. Something told him to buy a scratch ticket….

“I waited until my kids were in bed to scratch it. There were three identical fruits, but that didn’t say winner for life,” remembers the one who kept the ticket carefully in her bra to go to the Loto-Québec offices in Montreal.

Winner for life

That’s when she realized she had really hit the jackpot: $675,000 or $1,000 per week for life.

“Knowing me, I was better off taking it for life. If I was given a large amount of money, I would definitely waste it, there are so many people who need it!” she says.

Over the past year, Rachel Lapierre has counted 467,000 good deeds carried out by volunteers.

MARIO BEAUREGARD/AGENCE QMI

For as long as she can remember, she has always wanted to make a difference.

More than 30 years ago, she fell in love with humanitarian travel. Among other things, she lived for four and a half months with her young children to work in an orphanage for young AIDS patients in Chile.

She also works in India in Mother Teresa centers and directly in the streets, where people really need her. For ten years, she has been going there two or three times a year, bringing with her whoever is willing to accompany her to learn.

An inspiring presence

“I had seen Rachel in an interview and I found her so inspiring, so I decided to go,” emphasizes Louise Savoie. Since her trip to India in 2020, the 62-year-old woman has been involved five days a week at the Humanitarian Book.


Louise Lavoie has become Ms. Lapierre’s right-hand woman since she followed her to India four years ago.

MARIO BEAUREGARD/AGENCE QMI

Here, the presence of the nurse is unifying. “When I met her, it immediately clicked, she’s like a big sister to us,” says Carole Lévesque, a volunteer for four years and who is active in the kitchen.


GEN-Report on The Humanitarian Book by Rachel Lapierre founder of The Humanitarian Book in St-Jérôme.

Carole Lévesque prepares boxes of food.

MARIO BEAUREGARD/AGENCE QMI

Mme Lapierre could never have bought something that brings him so much happiness.

“When you buy a sweater, you’re happy for two days; a car, two weeks maximum, but when you do a good deed, you keep it in your memories forever,” she says.

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