The holiday has never been sweeter for these lucky winners
By Kate Northrop
NEW WESTMINSTER, Canada — A group of co-workers didn’t have to go trick-or-treating this Halloween to get the sweetest reward of them all — a Lotto 6/49 jackpot worth $6 million (US$4.6 million).
Monday, the British Columbia Lottery sat down with Heewon (Theresa) Choi of Coquitlam to discuss what it was like to discover that she and her group held the lone winning lottery ticket for the Lotto 6/49 draw on Sat., Oct. 31.
Choi, the designated “team captain,” said that she and her group of four co-workers had been playing the lottery together for about a year. She was the one to purchase the ticket at Shoppers Drug Mart on East Columbia Street in New Westminster.
She made the ultimate discovery when she scanned her ticket with the BCLC Lotto! App at Royal Columbia Hospital in New Westminster, where she works alongside her fellow lottery players.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Choi said in the interview. “I immediately showed it to Melanie who sits right next to me.”
At first, her co-workers shared the same feeling of disbelief.
“When the other two group members started their shift, Melanie and I told them,” Choi said. “They thought it was a joke!”
“I thought it was $6,000 when she showed it to me,” Nolan, one of her group members recalled.
After coming to terms with the incredible news, they all started to call and message their loved ones. Choi said her family screamed out of sheer excitement, while Nolan’s partner texted back, “It’s not April Fools!”
The group selects their numbers using birthdays and special anniversaries. The winning numbers for the Lotto 6/49 draw on Oct. 31, 2020 were 5, 8, 18, 22, 41, and 48, with Bonus 23. Matching all six main numbers meant that they beat the odds of about 1 in 13.98 million and that they will take home 79.5% of the prize pool.
To celebrate their newfound wealth, the group said that they plan on sharing a meal together. Nolan told the BC Lottery that she wanted to donate a portion of her winnings to the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation and possibly put the money toward attending school.
“I’ve always dreamed about being a millionaire,” Choi told the Lottery. “I feel like I’m in a dream.”
The Lottery recommends that every group of lottery players should have a designated person to coordinate collecting participant’s money, buying the group’s tickets, tracking group winnings, and posting results. They also urge everyone in the group to keep a record of contributions each group member makes to purchase lottery tickets.
The Lottery has a Group Play Agreement Form that players can access on their website to better manage playing in a group.
In just this year alone, lottery players from British Columbia have claimed more than $91 million in winnings by playing Lotto 6/49, according to the BC Lottery. Drawings for the game take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays after 7:30 pm PST.