Woman who sold B.C.’s largest-ever lotto jackpot winner gets record prize of her own

Verna Holmes celebrates her prize for selling the winning ticket in August's $60 million lotto jackpot. Global News

Usually when the BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) hands out a giant novelty cheque, it’s to a lucky lotto winner cashing in their prize.

But things were flipped the other way around Tuesday, as the corporation handed out its largest-ever seller’s prize to Verna Holmes, whose Richmond smoke shop sold the winning ticket to last month’s record $60 million Lotto Max prize.

READ MORE: ‘I had a shot of whisky’: Richmond man celebrates after largest lotto jackpot win in B.C. history

“Because that was the biggest prize in the history of BCLC, there’s another very special part to that,” said Kevin Gass, BCLC’s vice president of lottery gaming as he handed the cheque to Verna Holmes of Seafair Smoke and Mixers.

“Because of that you get the biggest seller’s prize ever in British Columbia: $60,000.”

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WATCH: Retired fisherman wins record $60 million jackpot

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Retired fisherman wins record $60 million jackpot – Aug 21, 2019

Holmes has been selling lottery products for more than 35 years — before the BCLC actually existed as an organization — and is one of the longest-serving lottery retailers in the province, said Gass.

“It’s so wonderfully fitting that Verna Holmes from her Smoke Shop on No. 1 Road in Richmond, was the seller of the $60 million ticket.”

Holmes said the $60 million prize winner, retired fisherman Joseph Katalinic, was a regular customer who managed to come in and buy his lottery ticket despite a recent knee surgery.

READ MORE: Paying attention to ‘gut feeling’ pays off with lotto win for Lumby man

She said she “had a feeling” she was sitting on a winner the day he came in and bought his lucky ticket.

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“I was hoping for a good friend to walk in, but he was the best friend I had so he got it.”

As for what she’ll do with her prize money?

“That’ll be a secret,” she said. “Just keep going because I love the job.”

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