Tibor Tusnady is British Columbia’s newest millionaire after buying a lotto ticket in Surrey last week, the BCLC announced in its first-ever virtual winner celebration.
The White Rock resident, who was born in Hungary and worked in the Lower Mainland as a pharmacist for 38 years, took home the $16.4 million 6/49 Jackpot after matching all six numbers on the ticket he purchased at a gas station on April 15.
“I guess the best words to describe it is as surreal,” he said during the presentation on Thursday. “You see the numbers and you match it to your ticket and you just can’t believe it. It is a shock. It took me a while to get over that.”
Tusnady found out he was the lucky winner while in the bathroom. He said during the presentation that he re-checked the numbers at least five times by himself, then at least another five times with his spouse, who he did not tell until the afternoon the next day.
His spouse, who he has been with for seven years, did not know he had been buying lotto tickets, Tusnady added.
“I had to confess to her that I had been playing the lottery,” he said. “After that I told her I won the top prize.”
While he will not be jumping on a plane anytime soon with the pandemic underway, Tusnady said he plans to go to Argentina and Paraguay, two countries he has never visited, when the travel bans are lifted.
Lotto winning payout procedures have changed since the COVID-19 public health crisis began.
BCLC interim CEO and former Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore presented the novelty cheque on a hockey stick to ensure he was keeping six-feet away from the winner and the presentation was held virtually, broadcast live on Facebook.
“The @BCLC has done an amazing job pulling this event together in a safe manner,” he said in a Tweet after the event. “Love using the hockey stick to ensure physical distancing.”Congratulations to Tibor, British Columbia’s news multi-millionaire.
Congratulations to Tibor, British Columbia’s news multi-millionaire. The @BCLC has done an amazing job pulling this event together in a safe manner - love using the hockey stick to ensure physical distance. pic.twitter.com/Zqxb0az17J— Greg Moore (@GregMooredotca) April 23, 2020
-with files from The Richmond News