'I went nuts, I tell ya': Retired fisherman wins B.C.'s largest ever lotto jackpot
After nearly a month of mystery, the winner of a record-breaking B.C. lottery prize was revealed.
Former commercial fisherman Joseph Katalinic was identified at a news conference Wednesday afternoon, and handed a giant cheque for $60 million.
The Richmond, B.C. resident has been living a peaceful life after retiring about two decades ago, but said he now plans to "live like a king."
Katalinic described the moment he found out he'd won the Lotto Max jackpot: "I went nuts, I tell ya."
He said he scanned the ticket at the store where he'd initially bought it, but didn't believe the results to be true. He was so excited he went to two other convenience stores to scan his ticket, just to be sure.
When he got home, he celebrated.
"I had a shot of whisky and that was it. Scotch. Straight," Katalinic said.
The first people he told were his daughters, an emotional exchange that included lots of hugging and kissing.
"The first one I told, my older daughter, she put her arms around me and started crying like hell," he said, inciting a laugh from the crowd of BCLC employees and media.
With the winnings, he plans to take his family to Hawaii, and to travel to the town in Europe where Katalinic's parents were born.
The winning ticket was purchased south of Vancouver, but the identity of the buyer remained a mystery until Wednesday.
BCLC posted on Twitter at the time asking everyone to check their tickets, writing, "We are so excited to meet the winner!"
That winner remained anonymous in the weeks that followed.
We knew the ticket was purchased at the Seafair Centre in Richmond, but everything else about the winner of the July 26 draw was kept quiet.
He was asked why he waited so long to come forward, and said one of his daughters told him there was no reason to hurry.
"So that's it," he said simply.
CTV News Vancouver asked what his strategy was, but it seems like his methods might not have been what finally worked. He said he always plays his own numbers, but the winning ticket was a quick pick.
Including Katalinic, B.C. residents have claimed more than $113 million in Lotto Max prizes so far this year, BCLC said in a statement announcing the latest winner.
Lotto Max is a twice weekly draw with jackpots starting at $10 million. Each "play" is $5, BCLC says, and includes three sets of seven numbers between one and 50.
Players can choose their first set of numbers, but the rest are set at random.
The winning numbers for this particular draw are 11, 15, 17, 20, 24, 25 and 50, with a bonus number of 30.
The lottery corporation says the odds of winning at least something are one-in-seven, but the odds of matching all seven numbers in a set are estimated at one-in-33,394,800.