British Columbia

Holder of $70M-winning lottery ticket bought in Burnaby destined to be rich and famous

The winner of the record jackpot will have their name and photo publicized once they come forward to collect the money.

The winner of the outrageous fortune will have their name and photo made public, as per BCLC rules

A Lotto Max ticket worth $70 million was recently purchased in Burnaby, B.C. (CBC)

Whoever claims the largest lottery jackpot in British Columbia history — all $70 million of it — will undoubtedly have the cash to buy anything and everything their heart desires.

Except, perhaps, one thing: anonymity.

The solo winning ticket in Tuesday night's Lotto Max draw was sold somewhere in Burnaby, according to the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC).

And while the newly minted millionaire might only want the riches, they will also receive a measure of fame thanks to BCLC rules that stipulate names and photos of winners be made public.

A BCLC spokesperson said the policy is spelled out on the back of every ticket sold and is meant to bring transparency and integrity to the lottery process.

"Part of the requirement of playing the lottery is having your name published as a winner. And the reason that requirement exists is so that all of our players in Canada, and of course in B.C., can have trust in a system that rightful ticket holders do receive their prizes," said Erica Simpson. 

A windfall of such unimaginable wealth is certain to be life-changing in positive ways. But it can also spark a good deal of harassment and unwanted attention from mooching acquaintances and scammers.

In 2015, the Mayrhofer family of Langley tried to keep their identities private after winning a $50 million Lotto Max jackpot by signing their ticket over to a trust before it was presented to the B.C. Lottery Commission.

After a lengthy review, it was ruled only an individual or group can claim lottery winnings and the Mayrhofers gave in to being identified and posing for the requisite photo holding a giant novelty cheque.

Ammand, Eric and Deidrich Mayrhofer of Langley, B.C., tried to keep their identities hidden after winning a $50 million Lotto Max jackpot. (BCLC)

In 2018, BCLC did withhold the identity of a $30 million prize winner, but declined to say why. 

Simpson said requests for anonymity are rare and seldom granted. She said the personal safety of a winner can be a consideration.

"There are very, very specific conditions for anonymity that need to be met and that is a matter for our security investigations team," she said.

Winners have one full year from the draw date to come forward to collect their money.

The $70 million jackpot won by the Burnaby ticket buyer ties the record for largest lottery win in Canadian history, shared by six other $70 million prize winners.

Previously, the largest lottery win in B.C. was $60 million won by retired Richmond fisherman Joseph Katalinic in 2019.

BCLC said the exact location in Burnaby where the lucky ticket was sold will be revealed once the winner comes forward.