Training to be a collision repairman, Vancouver's Emilio Ferrato can't believe his luck at Cruise-In win.
Cruise-In crowds were dispersing and organizers had just wrapped up the closing ceremonies for the 2012 charity car show in downtown Langley City when Emilio Ferrato sauntered up to the stage to ask who won the Lordco Ultimate Garage raffle.
Before the show director could even read out the name on the winning ticket, Ferrato started jumping and spinning in the air, letting out muffled whoops.
Reading over her shoulder, he had already recognized his own cellphone number and realized he was the winner.
"Honestly, I couldn't believe it. I don't win lotteries and draws. I just don't," Ferrato said, still in shock days after winning a garage package that is raffled off each year in conjunction with the Langley Good Times Cruise-In.
The package, valued at roughly $19,000, is a dream prize for many guests at the annual Langley car show - Ferrato included.
He's currently studying to be a mechanic at Vancouver Community College, just weeks away from finishing his fourth year of studies while apprenticing in collision repair with Stillcreek Collision in Burnaby.
For him, winning the garage seemed unrealistic. He was content enough knowing all the money was going to charity.
In fact, since he and his cousin Dan Ferrato arrived only an hour before the show concluded, it turns out Emilio was among the last to lay down his $25 for three tickets on the raffle.
"I almost missed it, can you believe it?" Ferrato said.
He was wandering through the show, admiring the cars, when one of the Cruise-In directors called him to tell of his victory.
But over the sound of the crowd and revving engines, he didn't hear his phone.
Preparing to leave, he passed the main stage and decided to make the inquiry.
Turning 22, Ferrato said this is "literally the best birthday present" he could ever expect to receive.
And he has the perfect place for it, it so happens.
Born and raised in East Vancouver, he's spent this summer cleaning up and restoring his parent's back-alley garage with the intention of setting it up as a workshop for himself.
Having replaced the leaky roof, restored rotten wood on the walls, and installed new doors on the two-vehicle structure, his reno project was near an end when he won.
All that's left is to haul away the garbage and debris and start mapping out where all his shiny new toys will go, he said.
"My shopping list is done and now I can make the floor plan work around it," explained Ferrato.
"It's always been my dream over time to go out in my own backyard and turn a wrench in my own garage. Now, I'm going to be able to do that-" and in style, he said, particularly psyched about winning a hoist.
"My dreams are pretty good for this garage now," he said, noting the list of prizes included in the garage package is too much for him to remember.
"Front to back, it's pretty much everything I'd want from the catalogue," he said, noting the package also includes tool box, carts, cabinets, and just about anything imaginable.
Days after the win, while sweeping out the near empty garage, he was still grinning and waiting for the shock to subside.
"I'm still smiling. I can't seem to stop," Ferrato added, noting that all his friends at work know about his win, but he hasn't been bragging too much.
"The folks are doing enough of that," he added.
Ferrato has been at one previous Cruise-In with his uncle, but said given his win and his new "emotional" attachment to the show, he plans to become a regular.
He might even bring out his Honda S2000 two-seated convertible roadster, his 1992 Nissan Gloria to next year's show, or maybe one day he can be on the strip with his dream car - a 1967 or '68 Chevy Camaro that he's restored in his own garage.
@ Copyright 2013