Perseverance has paid off -- big time -- for 55-year-old Ron Jones.
After playing the lottery for 25 years, Jones and his wife Gloria Dutchuk hit the jackpot Saturday.
The Winnipeg couple won $8.3 million (US$6.7 million) on a Lotto 6/49 Quick Pick -- the fifth largest win in Manitoba history. It's their share of a $25-million jackpot.
"I didn't know what to think," the saw operator told a news conference yesterday. "It's an unreal number."
Jones -- who describes himself as "an average Joe" -- purchased two Quick Picks at the 7-Eleven at 3021 Ness Ave. He said he returned Sunday morning to check his numbers. The clerk told him he couldn't cash the ticket because the win was too high, Jones said.
Jones said he initially believed he had won $843,000 and was in shock. It was only after he returned home "in a daze" and Dutchuk looked at the ticket that the couple realized they had won millions.
"All of a sudden you can buy what you want, when you want," Dutchuk, 48, said. "It's overwhelming."
Dutchuk, who works as a research manager at Health Sciences Centre, said she hasn't yet decided whether she'll quit her job. But Jones, who's on holidays, said he has no plans to return to work.
He is going on an eight-day Las Vegas golf vacation with some friends, which was planned prior to the win.
Jones said he has no plans to gamble while in Sin City.
"My gambling days are over," he said.
WANTS A MUSTANG
Neither Jones nor Dutchuk said they have any immediate plans for their new money, though their 17-year-old daughter would like a Ford Mustang.
"I know I can have anything I want but I already have everything I want," Jones said.
"There are a few things your wife wants," Dutchuk quipped.
The biggest lottery win in Manitoba history was $19.9 million in December 2001. It was won by a group of employees at the Aristocrat Restaurant in Winnipeg.