One of three Toronto bakers who will share a $50-million lottery win dreamed about a wheelbarrow full of money in the days leading up to the draw.
Eugeniusz Borek has worked as a delivery driver at Ontario Bread Co. on Ossington Avenue south of Dundas Street West for almost 20 years, along with close friends and fellow Polish immigrants Zdzislaw Modlinski and Wlodzimierz Konieczny.
Borek said he had a premonition about the big win, which came in the draw last Friday.
"Two days before the draw, I had a dream that I was pushing a wheelbarrow full of money with two other guys," he said. "The next day, I had a dream that I was opening up a car wash and a gas station and a couple of other small businesses. When I woke up, I thought, 'The money is coming, I am sure.’"
They bought the winning ticket at a west-end gas station, worked through the weekend, then learned they had won Monday morning.
"I couldn’t believe it," said Borek. "I was crying, I was so happy."
Modlinski is a supervisor at the bakery, Borek and Konieczny work there as delivery drivers. They came to Canada from Poland in the 1990s. In their years working together, the men endured 12-hour shifts that often stretched into the early morning hours.
Borek immediately called his friends to tell them about their lottery prize.
"They didn’t believe me either. But then, they checked the photocopies of our tickets and they saw that we won. We were all so happy."
One of the men, 62-year-old Modlinski, is a heart attack survivor. Borek told a news conference Wednesday he had to ensure his friend was sitting down before telling him of the win for fear the news would trigger another attack.
Modlinksi's daughter Ewa Modlinski attended the press conference and translated for her father. She said the men "truly deserve this."
Ewa Modlinski said her father worked night shifts at the bakery. Her mother, who was a teacher in Poland, had to work on a production line due to her limited language skills. After years of hard work, she said she's looking forward to seeing her parents relax.
"This means waking up and not having to worry about how they pay the next bill," she said. "My father hasn't been on a vacation in 20 years."
All three men say they plan to retire soon but will keep working at the bakery until the company finds replacements.