A B.C. lotto winner found out about his $16M jackpot while on the toilet, went back to watching TV
VANCOUVER -- A White Rock, B.C., man is suddenly more than $16 million richer, and he found out while on the toilet.
Tibor Tusnady matched all six numbers in last week's Lotto 6/49 draw with a ticket purchased at a Surrey gas station.
The winning numbers, which he chose himself, were 01, 03, 07, 13, 22 and 47.
His total prize of $16,472,123.30 was awarded during a news conference Thursday at the B.C. Lottery Corporation's studio.
The lucky winner did attend the event, but sat at a distance from BCLC's CEO as he spoke about the win, and received his giant cheque.
The cheque was presented hanging from a hockey stick to show he was at least two metres apart from CEO Greg Moore.
The retired pharmacist said he'd remember the moment for the rest of his life.
"It's really exciting and something that you never dream of," he said.
He described the moment he found out he'd won as "surreal," and said it took him a while to get past the shock.
Tusnady said he was in the bathroom at the time, and took a few deep breaths while trying to process what he'd read. But, he said, he was so shocked that rather than celebrating, or even telling his spouse, he just went back to watching TV.
He said it was about 16 hours later when he finally revealed their newfound fortune to his partner.
"Actually she didn't know I was playing the lottery, that was a secret, so I had to confess to her," he said.
Tusnady joked that he checked the numbers at least five times himself, then the couple checked them another five.
They later celebrated with champagne and let their family and friends in on the surprise.
"Obviously nobody believes it at first. Everybody thinks it's a joke," he said.
As for what he plans to do with the money, Tusnady said it depends on what public health officials allow surrounding travel.
When people are allowed to go abroad again, he hopes to make some stops in South America.
"When we travel next time, it's always first class," he joked.
Tusnady added he's already warned his bank that he'll be coming by with his big cheque.
The odds of winning a Lotto 6/49 jackpot are considered extremely low: about one in 14 million.
Due to physical distancing requirements, BCLC has been forced to close its offices to the public, and has changed the way people claim prizes.
For the time being, anyone who wins a prize worth more than $25,000 has to phone BCLC at 1-866-815-0222 to claim it.
Those who've won smaller prizes can claim their money by mailing their tickets, but must follow proper procedure.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Andrew Weichel