“I just sat there in awe basically, you know. Don’t really know what to do when you’re looking at your phone and it’s telling you that number,” said Dale McEwen.
On the day of the April Lotto Max jackpot draw, McEwen was on his way to B.C. for a ski trip. When he stopped in Dunmore, Alta., for gas he decided to buy some last-minute lottery tickets, something he has done for years. The next day while waiting to go for supper, he casually decided to check those tickets.
“So I checked the one and it was a $2 winner. You know the usual and checked the other one and it says, hey, it appears to be a winner. A $70-million winner and (I) just sat there stunned for a while and didn’t know what to do so I quickly took a screenshot of it then went and told Christie and figured out if it was real or not and what to do,” said McEwen.
Dealing with an April Fools’ Day draw, the Regina residents wanted to make sure their new found fortune wasn’t a twisted joke.
“Disbelief, obviously, but I could tell right away that Dale wasn’t kidding just by the look on his face and his reaction. Then it’s just kind of a blur,” said Dale’s wife, Christie McEwen.
The $70 million jackpot is the largest ever won in Western Canada. Saskatchewan’s previous lottery winning peak was $60 million. The province has now taken home a lottery in six straight months since Oct. 2, 2021 but everyone wants to know: what will the McEwens buy with their winnings?
Omicron changed the course of the pandemic 1 year ago and still dominates. What’s next?
Toddlers don’t need firm screen time limits, new Canadian guidance says
“We’ve got some little things and stuff that we want to do but no big plans. We’re pretty fortunate anyway so just do some things to enjoy life and maybe travel a bit more, help out our families a bit if we can,” said Christie.
”We’ve got plans to help parents and siblings and that kind of stuff already. Like I said we’ve had three weeks to digest this and figure out what we’re doing,” echoed Dale.
Dale doesn’t know exactly what he will buy but he knew his plans when asked if he has plans to stay in the trucking industry.
“Not particularly, no. No, it’s going to be an early exit from that. Been doing that for 28 years but it’s definitely time to get out of that I guess,” he said with a laugh.
McEwen’s winning numbers of 7, 10, 18, 29, 38, 43 and 50 did not have personal significant meaning but rather came from a quick pick.
”I keep joking it totally blows my mind because I don’t know how it can ramp up for four or five weeks and build and build and build and only have one winning ticket. It always irks me when that happens. Like how can there be one winning ticket? But I’m glad there was,” said Dale.
Like any surprise of this nature, the life-changing money has been hard to digest.
”You think when you’re joking around at work, oh, I’m going to do this and this and this but then when reality hits and your mind is just a fog of what the heck is going on, those thoughts just go out the window right away because you don’t know how to process it,” admitted Dale.
“Once it hits you and you realize how much you have and what you can do it’s just mind blowing. I can’t even describe it.”
But will McEwen continue to play the lottery even with his newfound wealth?
“Well why wouldn’t a guy. You’ve got to,” he said with a smile.