It's an age-old question: What would you do if you won the lottery?
For many, the answer is simple. Some would buy a shiny new car or a luxury home. Realists may opt to pay off bills and tuition before thinking of new purchases. Others, still, dream of far-off lands and transcontinental travel.
Lesley Vickars, however, was already on vacation when her seven lucky Lotto Max numbers were drawn Aug. 24, bagging her a sweet $25 million.
"It's overwhelming," the new multi-millionaire said Tuesday at the B.C. Lottery Corporation office in Vancouver, where she was presented with the comically large cheque along with the real pocket-sized one. The woman, while speechless and still in shock, was visibly happy as her husband Mark and two of three children proudly looked on.
The Burnaby resident had purchased her lottery ticket at the Metrotown Save-On-Foods before taking off on a four-week trip to Scotland. When she returned, she had no idea that one of two winning tickets was identified as having been sold in Burnaby. The other half of the $50-million jackpot went to a lottery ticket holder in Ontario.
"I didn't believe it at first. I phoned Mark and I think he thought I was in an accident or something," Vickars said of checking her lottery ticket Monday around 3:30 p.m. at a mall's lottery kiosk. She then stayed at the mall for another hour in disbelief while waiting for her husband to meet her.
After playing the same numbers without results for two decades - the same length of time since her twin sons were born - it's no wonder the woman was in shock when it actually happened.
"I've been playing the same numbers since the 1990s," she said. "It started with a dream that Mark had. He couldn't remember all of the numbers but we just made up multiples of those numbers and that was it."
Kevin Gass of the BCLC was more than happy to award the $25-million cheque after fielding countless questions in recent days about why a winner had yet to be identified.
"We've had a number of calls from the media about the excitement of a $25-million winner here in Burnaby and where they are and why have they not come forward and we sort of had to speculate - maybe they haven't checked their ticket, maybe they were on vacation," Gass said Tuesday. "As it turns out, the family was on vacation.
"It's funny it can happen that way - you actually have a winning ticket in your pocket and you don't know and that was the case here."
For now, Vickars will keep her job as a bookkeeper as the family decides what to do with their new-found wealth. It may not be long before the family packs up and heads to the airport again, while the idea of a family reunion is also being tossed around.
The only thing she knows for sure, however, is that she won't be buying another lottery ticket in the near future.
"I think that's it for us," Vickars said with a smile.