The past two years have seen Burnaby residents rack up some impressive lottery wins – some of the biggest in all of Canada.
Is it something in the water?
How else to explain so many jumbo lottery prizes in such a short amount of time?
The latest came this week when Lana and Joery Leung played the Lotto 6/49 and won $6 million in the March 16 draw – playing the same numbers they’ve played for 36 years, which are birthdays in their family. They found out they won when their son had seen the winning numbers and asked if they'd bought tickets.
The Leungs say they were planning on buying a new house before winning the lottery but now have changed their minds about leaving.
“We can’t move now, because this is the house that we won the Lotto 6/49 jackpot in!” A news release says Lana plans to quit one of her two jobs while Joery will continue to work before they retire early. They also plan on buying their son a car and paying off their daughter's mortgage.
The biggest winner, of course, was Burnaby’s Christine Lauzon, who admitted to being “a little nervous” after claiming a stunning $70-million prize in fall 2021.
“It’s a big change, really,” she said, in what may just be the understatement of the year – given that she just became the biggest lottery winner ever in the history of B.C.
That’s the biggest prize, but perhaps the luckiest Burnaby resident is David O’Brien, who took home a $1 million Guaranteed Prize back in 2020. He’s the luckiest Burnabarian because the Burnaby man won $5 million playing Lotto 6/49 on May 4, 2016, when he matched all six numbers to win the jackpot.
So two lottery jackpots in just four years.
Will he continue playing the lottery? “Yes – I really like playing,” he said, adding he plans to do more travelling.
It took Burnaby’s Saeid Ebrahimi a few weeks to check his lottery tickets, but when he did, he discovered he was $5-million richer in early 2020.
Ebrahimi had been preoccupied keeping a close eye on family in Iran as the COVID-19 pandemic surged there.
“I call my family in Iran every day,” says Ebrahimi. “My parents, three brothers, their wives and children are all back home and I know it’s been very bad over there.”
When Ebrahimi finally checked his tickets at the lottery kiosk, he discovered he had won $5 million. The first call was to his wife, who works at a Lower Mainland hospital.
“Obviously she’s been very busy, so she didn’t pick up my phone call,” said Ebrahimi. “So I sent her some messages and pictures of the $5-million validation slip and she called me back later to make sure I wasn’t joking.”
Thanks to the life-changing win, Ebrahimi and his wife are excited for a family reunion – when the time is right.
“I hope one day we can have my family come to visit here so we can celebrate our good health. But right now, I’m hoping for our doctors, nurses, and health care workers all to be safe, that we all co-operate so we can get through this.”
Do these stories inspire you to play the lottery?
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.