British Columbia

Lighthouse keeper collects $1M lottery prize — after waiting 2 months to get leave

Ivan Dubinsky, who started his lighthouse career more than 20 years ago, read in the email that he had successfully matched all 10 numbers in the Lotto 6/49 draw on Nov. 29, 2019. 

Ivan Dubinsky plans to begin moving into retirement after matching all 10 numbers in Nov. 29, 2019, draw

Lighthouse keeper Ivan Dubinsky holds up his cheque for $1 million, which he had to wait two months to claim due to his schedule. (British Columbia Lottery Corporation)

A lighthouse keeper working near Port Hardy, B.C., "couldn't believe his eyes" after receiving an email he had won $1 million in B.C.'s Lotto 6/49 draw.

Ivan Dubinsky, who started his lighthouse career more than 20 years ago, read in the email that he had successfully matched all 10 numbers in the draw on Nov. 29, 2019.

Dubinsky's day-to-day job requires him to look after the lighthouse grounds and send weather reports to aircraft and marine vessels. As a result, he buys most of his lottery tickets online.

"It's difficult to buy lottery tickets when you're at the lighthouse all the time," said Dubinsky in a statement from the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC). 

"You have to be granted leave, and there's not too many lighthouse keepers available these days."

Dubinsky had to wait two months until he was able to get leave from the lighthouse to come to the BCLC's office in Vancouver to claim his prize.

The BCLC said he now has a more "relaxing" lifestyle planned for himself.

"I'll slowly begin the retirement process, give some of my winnings to my brothers and sisters and possibly buy a home in the north part of Vancouver Island," said Dubinsky. 

"Though I may still want to be a relief lighthouse keeper."

Lotto 6/49 is a nationwide lottery game drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays after 7:30 p.m. PT. Each draw includes a guaranteed prize draw of $1 million.

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