'Tis the season for giving, and the British Columbia Lottery Corp. got into the holiday spirit in a big way Tuesday, presenting checks to two separate lottery jackpot winners from B.C.
A couple from Burnaby, Daniel Fehr and Maria Linsenmeier, matched six out of six numbers in this past Saturday's Lotto 6/49 draw to win $12.6 million, while Robert Sibley of Gibsons received a check for $2 million. He matched all six numbers to win the BC/49 jackpot on the same day.
"Just two nights before, I got down on my knees and prayed for a miracle," said 43-year-old Linsenmeier, who owns a catering truck and works part time as a life coach. "With seven kids we're rich in life, but the truth is we've been struggling to make ends meet. This is an absolute blessing."
"I didn't plan on retiring until I was in my 70's," said 60-year-old Fehr, who installs siding full-time. "I used to say the lottery was my retirement plan. I never thought in a million years this would come true."
The couple plan to "pay it forward" by donating their catering truck, and look forward to building their "dream Victorian farm house" somewhere near Nelson, B.C.
Also sporting a huge smile today is 80-year-old Sibley, who says news of his winning Quick Pick ticket has spread quickly throughout his community.
"Everybody in Gibsons seems to be talking about it," said the retired Dairyland worker. "I don't know how word got out, but my phone is ringing pretty steady."
Sibley says he plans to pay off the mortgage on his home and the homes of his two sons, and is considering a trip to England this summer.