"I thought somebody was playing a joke!"
By Kate Northrop
ATHABASCA, Canada — A brother and sister from Alberta, Canada, were both skeptical when they scanned their lottery ticket and found that it was the winner of a $1 million (US$766,270) Lotto 6/49 prize for the Guaranteed Prize Draw on Nov. 4.
Guaranteed Prize Draw is a $1 million bonus raffle drawing that all Lotto 6/49 tickets are automatically entered into each drawing.
David and Betty Holst could not believe their luck, so much so that they each scanned the ticket on both their phones and called the number printed on the ticket to verify that it was indeed a true winner.
And rightfully so — this was the first time David and Betty Holst had ever won the lottery.
"I thought it was April Fool's — but it wasn't April!" David exclaimed.
The siblings, who are both from the town of Boyle, bought the winning ticket together at a Petro Canada gas station in Athabasca on the morning of the drawing. Betty was the first one to learn the shocking news when she scanned the lottery ticket on the Lotto Spot! App the next day.
"I thought somebody was playing a joke!" she remarked.
Betty and David had matched all the Guaranteed Prize Draw numbers on their ticket — 34582641-01 — to take home the $1 million cash prize.
After Betty told her brother about her discovery, they scanned the ticket on both of their phones to make sure that they weren't seeing things.
"We were kind of in denial," David recalled. "I didn't tell a soul and just went to work like any other day."
Having never imagined that they would win the lottery, the brother and sister are still unsure about how they'll make use of their shared winnings.
"We've never won before," David said. "We don't know what we'll do with it."
One possible option, according to Betty, is to save a portion of it for travel when conditions are safer. They are also pondering the idea of pooling their prize money to spend it on a retirement home in someplace warm once the pandemic ends.
Players can purchase tickets for the Lotto 6/49 (with the included Guaranteed Prize Draw) for CA$3 each.