What would you do if you won the lottery?
It’s a question nearly every Canadian asks and dreams of. But for Gary Hill of Kamloops, B.C., it’s no longer fantasy after winning $35 million last month.
On Wednesday, the B.C. Lottery Corporation livestreamed a short media presentation of the lucky jackpot winner who split a $70-million windfall from the June 22 Lotto Max draw with another lottery player in Ontario.
“Right now, I’m soaking it all in,” Hill said after being introduced to the public.
“I feel normal. I feel like it’s another day to me. Of course, it’s not and … I am speechless right now. I thought I had a whole bunch of things to say, but the words aren’t coming out.”
Eventually, the retired long-haul truck driver found his verbal footing and told how excited he was after finding out he’d become B.C.’s newest multimillionaire — but only after checking his ticket at his mom’s insistence.
Hill bought the lucky ticket at McGoo’s Smokes N Stuff at North Hills mall in Kamloops, not the gas station where he normally stops.
“My mother told me I should check my ticket, that someone in Kamloops had won,” said Hill. “So I memorized my numbers, then I punched them in my phone and I read off the (winning) numbers.
“I actually swore and said, ‘Those are my numbers.’ I had to read it again and my legs went like spaghetti and I grabbed the wall.”
Hill said he “fell on the bed and cried for 15 minutes.”
After collecting himself, Hill, his eyes red, told his mother.
Four days later, he told his two sisters and a brother-in-law.
“I really don’t know what to do,” Hill said when asked what his future plans include.
“When it hits the bank, probably a month before I know what I’m going to do. I’m just going to come back to earth because I’m off-planet right now. I have to come back to earth and get things back to normal.”
Hill said his plans include travelling to Denmark when it’s safe to do so, but that he plans on calling Kamloops home.
Notably, Hill said prior to winning the lottery, he spotted a dragonfly on consecutive days.
“So I googled it and it said, ‘Luck and prosperity and abundance and all this,’ and that was June 22,” said Hill.
“The dragonfly, two days in a row, bought me luck. The full moon, it was the luckiest moon in my life, and here I am.”