B.C. lottery winner's odd strategy earns him two jackpot cheques
Published Wednesday, May 29, 2013 9:00AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 21, 2013 10:20AM EDT
Editor's note: Emails from purported representatives of Mr. Black continue to link to this article to solicit funds from unsuspecting targets. Anyone who believes they’ve been targeted by an email scam is advised to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. More info.
A decades-long habit of doubling down has paid off in a big way for Surrey, B.C. resident Harry Black.
For more than 30 years, the 66-year-old film industry worker has been selecting the same numbers on his lottery tickets. Not that unusual in itself, perhaps. But Black doesn’t buy just one ticket each week; he always buys two – and uses the same numbers for each ticket.
For years, Black says, he never won anything more than $10. But last month, his odd ticket-buying strategy paid off with a win in one of the biggest lottery jackpots in Canadian history.
Black won a portion of last month’s $63-million Lotto 6/49 draw. The jackpot had four winning tickets: a Vancouver man had one of those tickets, while a winner in Calgary had another. Each collected cheques for $15.8 million.
Black, though, had both of the other winning tickets. So on Tuesday, he collected two giant cheques, for a grand total of more than $31 million.
If Black had bought just one ticket, the pot would have been split three ways and he would have won $21 million. But because he bought two tickets, he earned himself an extra $10 million. It’s a dream scenario and one that's never happened in B.C.
At a news conference in Vancouver where Black accepted his cheques, he was asked what he planned to do with the money and what new “toys” he wanted to buy.
“I already got enough toys,” he quickly responded. “I worked hard for them. Maybe, I’ll have time to play with them.”
Before Black picked up the cheque, CTV’s Mi-Jung Lee caught up with the new millionaire enjoying his last few moments of anonymity before telling the world of his giant jackpot. He said his first plan after collecting the winnings was to skip town.
“After this is done, I’ve got to get out of Dodge and do something I've never done in my entire life: go on a holiday,” he told her.
Asked at the news conference where he planned to go, he responded, “I have no idea. Maybe I’ll just go to the airport and grab a ticket to the nearest flight out and go.”
Black explained he needed to disappear for a while to let it all sink in. “You have no idea how much stress there is when you win on the lotto,” he said.
Black already works part-time, but says he doesn’t plan to quit his job. He is hoping, though, to buy some land and build his dream house. He’ll also invest his winnings, he says, and share a good portion with his friends and family.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Mi-Jung Lee