'Count the zeros': Couple claims largest lottery prize in Alberta history
The happy couple hit the Lotto Max jackpot last month
Buying chicken feed at the corner store landed Brett McCoy and Robin Walker the biggest jackpot in Alberta history — a whopping $60-million Lotto Max jackpot.
The couple was together when they bought the winning ticket from McLeod Trading Post in the hamlet of Peers, 35 kilometres northeast of Edson.
"I ran into the store to buy chicken feed and some treats for my kids," Walker said in a statement. "I grabbed all our lottery tickets out of the glove compartment.
"A whole bunch of numbers came up on the screen when I scanned the ticket. I thought, 'That can't be right.' So, I scanned the ticket again.
"That's when I'm like, 'Oh, my gosh. So I holler out the door. I'm like, 'Brett, get in here. You got to see this. We won $60,000.'
"And so the clerk looks at me, 'Robin, you have to count the zeros.' "
The Lotto Max jackpot was from the Sept. 22 draw. McCoy had cashed another winning lottery ticket at the same time they bought the big winner.
"I won $100, and I was pretty excited," he said. "I remember thinking that I never win anything."
The identity of the winning couple was kept secret until they were introduced at an official cheque presentation in St. Albert on Wednesday. The rumours in their small town had been swirling.
As you'd expect, the couple are feeling overwhelmed by their good fortune.
"It still doesn't seem real," Walker said.
"I was pretty excited when I thought it was $60,000," McCoy said. "That would have taken care of a big chunk of our mortgage."
The two met when they both worked in the oilfield, where McCoy still hasn't quit his job as a pipeline worker. Walker runs a hobby farm and is a stay-at-home mom to her four children, aged four to 16.
With $60 million to consider, the couple said they don't plan to make any big decisions right away.
Walker said they are "common, everyday, blue-collar Albertans" from the "bush" and aren't accustomed to big spending. They did, however splurge on a new truck.
"We already had everything, and now we just have money as well."
The winning ticket was the only one sold across Canada to match all seven Lotto Max numbers drawn on Sept. 22, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission said. The ticket was an $11 quick pick.
"She can buy all the chickens she wants now," said McCoy with a chuckle.