British Columbia

Retired pharmacist walks out of washroom $16.4M richer after learning of lottery win

Tibor Tusnady was in the "smallest room" of the house when he checked his winning lottery ticket and found out he was $16.4M richer.

Tibor Tusnady said he checked the numbers 5 times, then another 5 times with his spouse the next day

Tibor Tusnady matched all six numbers to win the $16.4-million jackpot in the April 15 Lotto 6/49 draw. (BCLC)

Tibor Tusnady was in the "smallest room" of the house when he checked his winning lottery ticket. 

"It's a little embarrassing but that's where I actually matched, googled the numbers," said Tusnady, 63, during the B.C. Lottery Corporation's first ever virtual celebration for a new millionaire.

In light of physical distancing, BCLC interim president and CEO Greg Moore handed Tusnady a cheque for more than $16.4 million on a hockey stick on Thursday, during an event livestreamed on Facebook. 

Tusnady matched all six numbers to win the jackpot in the April 15 Lotto 6/49 draw. He bought his ticket at an Esso gas station in Crescent Road in Surrey, B.C.

The White Rock, B.C., resident said he was in such shock when he found out he had won that he double-checked the numbers five times.

"It was a shock. It took me a while to get over that," said Tusnady, who was a pharmacist for 38 years but retired after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2018. He has since recovered. 

In such disbelief, he didn't say anything to his spouse as he returned to watching TV that evening, and even went to bed that night without telling her.

The next day he held her hand as he shared the news — then they both checked the numbers another five times. 

"That was it. Then we told friends and relatives," he said, adding that they connected over video chat. 

"They were all very happy ... but no one believes it at first. Everyone thinks its a joke," he said. 

Once the travelling ban is over, Tusnady plans to to visit Argentina and Uruguay. Flying first class, of course.

"Obviously we will stay at home for the time being. We are ready to make plans and we have plans to help our relatives and that's very important and we can start doing that very soon," he said.

Tusnady began playing the lottery 15 years ago. He stopped for a few years and, now that he's won he says he's going to take another break.

"I think I'll take a little rest now," he said. 

About the Author

Tina Lovgreen

Video Journalist

Tina is a Video Journalist with CBC Vancouver. Send her an email at tina.lovgreen@cbc.ca

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