Port Alberni Couple Claim CA$5 Million Lotto 6/49 Jackpot
A married couple from Port Alberni in British Columbia, Canada, have spoken of their ‘surreal’ feeling after claiming a Lotto 6/49 jackpot worth CA$5 million. Harold and Madelaine Thomas have already started thinking how they will spend their new-found fortune after becoming overnight millionaires.
“It’s Exciting to Numbness. It’s Something You Dream About”
The retired duo matched all six main numbers – 1, 24, 35, 41, 42 and 49 - in the draw on Saturday 9th February. They bought their winning entry from the A1 Convenience Store on Redford Street in Port Alberni, the store they always pick their numbers from.
Harold revealed how the couple have been playing the lottery for many years, explaining: “We’ve been buying two tickets every Saturday and every Wednesday for 6/49 and BC/49 and the Extra steadily for the last five years. It’s a Mini Dip, costs $5.”
After hearing someone in their area had hit the jackpot, Harold checked his ticket on the Monday, which wasn’t a winner. He said: “I kept asking my wife: ‘Have you checked your ticket?’ She said: ‘No, no, I’ll check soon.’ So [Tuesday] night when we stopped at a convenience store, I said: ‘Why don’t you come and check your ticket?’
They did just that, and returned to the same A1 Convenience Store to check their numbers three days after the draw. Harold, who was a flight engineer before retirement, said: “When the clerk at the store checked the ticket, the machine froze and lit up $5,000,000. That’s when we started to shake. At first you don’t believe it. I was just going ‘wow, wow, wow, wow.’ Madelaine went into semi-shock. She was having quite the problem.”
They then had their jackpot-winning line confirmed during a telephone conversation with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), where Harold revealed: “It’s exciting to numbness. It’s something you dream about and think it will never happen. But anybody can win.” The husband and wife then excitedly caught the ferry to the BCLC offices in Vancouver, mainland Canada, on the morning of Wednesday 13th February to claim their seven-figure windfall, just four days after the draw.
Planning a Holiday to Mexico
The couple have two sons and three grandchildren, with a fourth due this August, and Madelaine, who used to work in banking, continued: “The biggest thing about this is being able to help the kids and grandkids out and make their lives a little easier. Maybe one of our sons won’t have to go away to work anymore. We’re going to help our kids out and maybe do a little bit of stuff for ourselves, it’s too surreal still. It’s crazy! It’s still sinking in.”
Their short-term plans include a trip to Mexico for a bit of sunshine to escape the British Columbia winter period. Harold said: “Maybe in about a month’s time we’ll go to Mexico for about a week and let things settle down, then go on with life. Back to fishing and gardening. My wife loves to play with flowers. I like fishing and I like to do a little gardening myself.” Longer term, they have expressed a desire to buy a new home and update their current cars – a Volkswagen Tiguan and 1966 Jaguar XKE.
You could follow in their footsteps of the Thomas’, or January’s CA$16.3 million winner, Alfonso Buonomo, by entering this Saturday’s draw for an estimated CA$5 million jackpot. Simply choose six numbers between 1 and 49 from any licensed retailer in Canada, or play online from various locations around the world. Remember to check the winning numbers here shortly after the draw has taken place. Good luck!