A marijuana advocate from Terrace, B.C., is $25 million richer after scoring a winning ticket in last week’s Lotto Max jackpot.
"I just went in, checked the lottery ticket — 25 and a whole bunch of zeroes," new millionaire Bob Erb told CBC News.
"I pulled the ticket out and I said, ‘Oh my God. I think I won $25 million.'"
Officials with the B.C. Lottery Corporation say they are working to confirm that Erb does indeed possess a winning ticket.
Erb bought the ticket in New Hazelton on the way to his father’s funeral in Calgary. Erb has been purchasing lottery tickets for 43 years, always buying the exact same amount — but this time, the clerk ran in more plays than he wanted.
"I said, ‘No, I wanted a $6-ticket for this upcoming Friday and the following Friday so he said, ‘Okay, I’ll just cancel this one.’ I said, ‘No no, this just might be the big one. I'll keep that.’"
The 60-year-old seasonal construction worker intends to keep working, saying he’ll donate his wages to the food bank.
As for the windfall, Erb says some will go to family, friends, homeless shelters and another cause he has championed for years.
"The legalization, decriminalization of marijuana."
Erb ran for the B.C. Marijuana Party in 2001 and has run various campaigns to legalize pot.
He also works for Beutle Masonry in Terrace.
"I didn't believe it at first,” said colleague Jordan Smoley. "I thought it was just a joke, but when I found out it was the truth, you know I was speechless and all I could think about was how happy I was for him and I wish him the best of luck.”
Smoley says the win couldn't have happened to a better person.
"He’s a really friendly, outgoing guy and he always volunteers at the homeless shelters around here and is a contributing member of the community and yeah, just a really good guy."
The lotto winner is scheduled to pick up his cheque on Saturday. He plans to return home to Terrace to celebrate.
Meanwhile, a Victoria resident who won a $1-million Lotto Max prize says she'll pay off her mortgage, replace her 25-year-old car and share some cash with family members.
Penny Nabokov was grocery shopping recently when she decided to check her lottery ticket from the Nov. 2 draw and learned she held a Max Million winning ticket.
She says she saw zeros appear on the lottery machine before everybody began jumping around and staff at the store escorted her outside to her car.
Nabokov says she thinks the tomato juice she planned to buy is still sitting on the store's counter.