N.L. man wins $5M Lotto 6/49 jackpot after playing the same numbers for 30 years: 'This is it, I did it'

Despite finally winning the lottery, Dennis Hobbs doesn't plan on retiring just yet.

Man holds a $5 million lotto jackpot cheque.
"People dream and dream, but now I’m making the dream become a reality," said the Keels, N.L., resident. (Courtesy: Atlantic Lottery Corporation)

Dennis Hobbs of Keels, N.L., has been playing the lottery with the same numbers for 30 years now. On March 9, luck was on his side, as he became the latest $5 million Lotto 6/49 Classic Jackpot winner.

Winning the Lotto 6/49 Classic Jackpot is incredibly rare, with odds of just 1 in 13,983,816. Since the draw occurs twice a week, players have 104 opportunities each year to try their luck. Consequently, it would take over 134,459 years for each set of numbers to be played at least once.

For Hobbs, he couldn’t believe his eyes when his long-standing numbers matched perfectly.

“I was like, ‘Wow, it’s really happened,’” said Hobbs. “This big weight came off me. I finally made it.”

His chosen numbers, that were used repeatedly — 6,15,19,34,45,47 — had never previously resulted in an exact match in past draws. However, these numbers have collectively matched three out of six numbers in previous winning combinations a total of 85 times.

Even though he’s hit the jackpot, Hobbs isn’t planning on retiring just yet. He enjoys working and wants to stick with his friends and coworkers a little longer.

“My heart wants to stay home and not go back to work, but I don’t want to let my friends and coworkers down. I’ve been with them for 10 years, same crew, and I’ll probably put one more season in for the hell of it,” said Hobbs.

With his newfound fortune, Hobbs is excited to make some of his dreams come true.

“I dreamed that if I ever won the lottery, I would buy myself a brand-new Ferrari, and help out family and friends, people that are good to me,” said Hobbs, whose town of Keels, N.L., has a population of about 46 people.

“People dream and dream, but now I’m making the dream become a reality.”

But it’s not just about the Ferrari for Hobbs. He wants to use some of the money to make sure his kids are set up for the future. He plans to buy them new cars and go on amazing trips together. Eventually, he’ll buy or build a new house and get his dream car.

Although he has been a long time lottery player, he never actually dreamed he would take home such a life-changing prize.

“I go off in my own little world and snap back and think, ‘Wow, I got all this money now,’” said Hobbs.

The reality has yet to sink in, even as loved ones send along their congratulations.

“I’ll be like, ‘Oh wow, oh my god,’ then people will be texting me, telling congratulations and it’s like, wow, this is it, I did it,” said Hobbs.

Hobbs purchased his winning lottery ticket at Taylor’s Service Station & Convenience in King’s Cove, N.L. The retailer will receive one percent of the seller's prize amount, in this case being $50,000.

Lotto 6/49 is a nationwide game that takes place every Wednesday and Saturday. There are two multi-million jackpots available to be won. The Classic Jackpot, which led to Hobbs' win, is always set at $5 million and the Gold Ball jackpot starts at $10 million and can grow to $68 million.

It’s been a lucky year for Atlantic lottery players so far. There’s still a chance for someone else to strike it big with an unclaimed $64 million Lotto 6/49 Gold Ball Jackpot sold in Gloucester County, N.B. If you have a ticket, better check it soon before the deadline on April 15, 2024 — just weeks away.

Tools to stop gambling

If you're looking to take a break from gambling, self-exclusion programs can be effective tools. See here for resources that are available across Canada.