Retired truck driver Gary Hill in Kamloops, B.C., says he is still overwhelmed with joy after sharing a $70-million Lotto Max jackpot with a person in Ontario.
Hill, 61, matched all the seven numbers on his ticket in the June 22 lucky draw, winning $35 million from the grand prize that had remained unclaimed for weeks.
"I am speechless right now. I thought I had a whole bunch of things to say, but my words are not coming out," he said in the cheque presentation ceremony at the British Columbia Lottery Corporation's headquarters in Kamloops on Wednesday. "I'm not on this planet — my body's here but the rest of my body is drifting in space."
Hill bought the winning ticket at a tobacco shop in Kamloops's North Shore neighbourhood. He says he normally purchased Lotto Max tickets at gas stations but never won.
His mother told him the day after the lucky draw to check his ticket, after she heard that someone who bought a ticket in Kamloops earned half the jackpot.
"That's my numbers and I had to read it again, and then my legs went like spaghetti and I grabbed the wall," Hill said. "I fell on the bed and I actually cried for 15 minutes."
Hill says he shared the good news with his mother immediately and with his other family members in the following weeks.
He says he wants to use the money to travel to Denmark, after all travel restrictions have ended, and also buy a house.
Lotto Max is Canada's biggest lottery game with a jackpot that can grow as high as $70 million.
The biggest Lotto Max prize in B.C. — of $60 million — was won by a retired commercial fisherman in Richmond, Joseph Katalinic, in July 2019.
There have been three $50 million Lotto Max jackpots won in B.C. since the game was launched in September 2009, including retired Kelowna nurse June Bergh in April 2016.