The suspense is finally over as one lucky Vancouver Island resident has stepped forward to claim the jaw-dropping $55-million Lotto Max jackpot that was drawn more than a month ago.
William Scott Gurney was revealed as the winner of the $55-million jackpot. He says when he first showed the ticket to his assistant, she misread it as winning $55,000.
“I checked it said a few swear words, kind of sat there stunned for a bit and then I called in my assistant,” Gurney said. “She came in checked it and looked at it and walked away and thought nothing of it, and I called her back and she thought it was 55,000 just took a second take on it.”
The Sidney resident is a bookkeeper and says he will finish up this tax season, but then will head into retirement after this year.
“It’s life altering. It just doesn’t seem real,” Gurney said.
He purchased the winning ticket at the Save-On-Foods on Beacon Avenue in Sidney.
Hearing about a winner so close to home, those outside the Sidney Save-On say Gurney’s win gives them hope.
“That’s great. That’s great. Someone in the area has won. That’s fantastic,” said one lottery hopeful. “You never know when you are going to be the lucky one. Good luck to them. I hope they enjoy it.”
Now that he’s won the money, Gurney says his idea of what to do with the money is a little different than he thought before he ever won.
“We all dream, if I win lottery, I’ll do this, and to be honest, you rethink that once it’s happened because it’s a possible reality,” Gurney said.
“I’d love to give all the money out to friends or family now and make everybody happy, but I also know that if I can sustain it long term, everybody’s going to benefit. So the plans that I had six months ago probably aren’t going to be the plans I have six months from now.”
He says he plans to spend some money on friends and family, do some travelling, and also donate to some charities, including the BC Children’s Hospital, and the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation.
“It’s surreal!”, says Vancouver Island’s $55 million Lotto Max winner, Sidney’s William Scott Gurney. The bookkeeper says he’s going to retire, but first find someone to look after his clients, and then travel. @CHEK_News pic.twitter.com/FQBjtt7vik
— Mary Griffin (@Mary_Griffin_) April 4, 2023
Gurney, the newly minted millionaire, will hold the record for the largest lottery win in Vancouver Island history, surpassing previous wins like Campbell River resident Dave Rennie’s $35.7 million Lotto Max jackpot in 2011.
People living on the north end of the Saanich Peninsula have been abuzz about who may have won the lottery and whether they’re from Vancouver Island, and have wondered whether the winner would wait out the one-year deadline or come forward sooner.
Watch the full news conference below: