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'Pretty surreal': Vancouver Island man wins historic $55M lottery jackpot


A Vancouver Island man is $55 million richer after claiming a historic Lotto Max jackpot prize that was drawn more than a month ago.

William Scott Gurney matched all seven numbers on his ticket in the Feb. 28 draw. He claimed the prize on Tuesday and says it was a dream come true.

"It's pretty surreal," said Gurney. "It's an incredible feeling."

The $55-million jackpot is the largest lottery win recorded on Vancouver Island, according to the B.C. Lottery Corporation. 

"It's an amazing feeling," he said. "We all play to win, very few of us are lucky enough to do that. I've been fortunate enough to be one of those few."

Gurney bought his winning ticket at the Save-On-Foods on Beacon Avenue in Sidney.

Speculation had been raised about who won the prize, and where it was purchased, after the BCLC announced the unclaimed $55-million prize on March 1.

The lottery corporation pays retailers that sell winning tickets a percentage of the prize total, if the prize is worth more than $10,000. The percentage varies depending on the prize amount.

In this case, the payment will be about $55,000, or 0.1 per cent of the $55-million prize.


Gurney says he had just finished buying some groceries when he decided to get $20 worth of lottery tickets.

"The next morning there was a big hubbub about someone in Saanich or North Saanich [winning] the draw," he said. "So I got to work, pulled up the app, checked the ticket and it said $55 million."

Gurney says he was stunned after seeing the total.

He called in his assistant to doublecheck the numbers, and checked the total three times on the BCLC mobile app and website "just to make sure there was nothing going wrong."

"Then I hid the ticket," he said with a laugh.

The financial planner says he's going to complete this tax season with his staff before trying to find someone to take over his business "so hopefully I can enjoy the money."

"I don’t know if I want to do another tax season," he said. 

He doesn't have firm plans for his winnings yet, but he intends to travel and help out friends, his family and local charities.

Gurney says everyone has daydreams about what they'd do if they won the lottery, but that's now changed.

"You rethink that once it's happened, because now it's a reality," he said.

"I'd love to give money to friends and family and make everybody happy, but I know if can save it longterm, that can make everybody happy," said the bookkeeper.

"The plans I had six months ago probably aren't going to be the plans I have six months from now," he said.

According to the lottery corporation, the odds of winning the seven-number jackpot are one in 33,294,800. Top Stories

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