N.W.T. woman wins lotto millions for 2nd time

Luck strikes twice for a Fort Smith, N.W.T., woman who is more than $7 million richer after her second lottery win in four years.

Luck has struck twice for a Fort Smith, N.W.T., woman who is more than $7 million richer after her second lottery win in four years.

Barkley Heron, left, and Ann Lepine celebrate their $11-million lottery win in 2007. Lepine, who has since separated from Heron, won $7.7 million with her own ticket over the weekend. ((Patti-Kay Hamilton/CBC))

Ann Lepine, who had shared an $11-million Lotto 6-49 prize in 2007, said she learned of her latest $7.7-million lottery win on Saturday night.

Lepine told CBC News she logged on to the Western Canada Lottery Corp. website to check her numbers, about two hours after she had purchased a nine-number Lotto 6-49 quick-pick ticket.

"I was circling a lot of numbers and … telling my dog, 'I think we won the lottery.' So I went back and counted the numbers and there was six numbers there. So I had six out of six," Lepine said in an interview Monday.

'I hardly slept'

Lepine said her aunt in Yellowknife and a friend in Fort Smith both doublechecked the numbers for her. The winning ticket was confirmed Sunday morning.

"There was jumping around," she said. "I hardly slept on Saturday night — I slept a couple hours — and [my friend] didn't sleep that much, and my aunt didn't sleep that much."

Lepine said Monday happened to be her last day at work — not because she won the lottery and decided to quit, but because her one-year work term expired.

"It's kind of surreal, I guess, is what it is," she said.

"I just still can't believe it. I still keep on looking at the ticket and said, you know, 'I actually won $7.6 million.'"

Lepine will pick up her winnings at the lottery corporation's offices in Edmonton.

She said her immediate plan is to go on a Caribbean cruise with her daughter. After that, she said her plans are up in the air.

Former husband won $11M in 2007

Lepine's then husband, Barkley Heron, won $11 million in a Lotto 6-49 draw in October 2007, netting him and Lepine the largest jackpot to be awarded in the Northwest Territories.

Upon learning he had won the jackpot, Heron briefly slashed the price of gas at his service station, the Rapid Corner Store, to 50 cents a litre.

Lepine has since separated from Heron, but she said she will take with her some lessons from the first lottery win.

"Don't really invest. That's the lesson I learned," she said, adding that her main plan is to "put the money in the bank."

Lepine said she bought her winning ticket at the same place where Heron won his millions — at the Rapid Corner Store in Fort Smith.

The Western Canada Lottery Corp. investigated Heron's win, since he had purchased the winning ticket from his own store, but concluded that he followed all the rules.

As for whether she'll continue buying lottery tickets, the N.W.T's newest millionaire said she probably will.

"You can't win if you don't play," Lepine said. "You got to buy a ticket in order to win."