Atlin resident Steve Murphy won a $16.6 million lottery prize on Sunday.
The 52-year-old Tulsequah Chief mine manager bought the winning Lotto Max ticket from the Atlin Food Basket.
“I stuck the lottery ticket in the Check-A-Ticket machine and I thought I’d won $16,000,” said Murphy in a release. “I double-checked with the clerk and all the numbers came up – everything lit up – I couldn’t believe it.”
Murphy was one of three people to win the lottery, giving him a third of the $50 million spoils. The other two winners live in Quebec.
“It’s still surreal,” said Bev Murphy, Steve’s sister. “You never do think it’ll happen to you.”
He visited her shortly after winning. She popped a bottle of champagne, called friends, and before long, word had spread through the community of approximately 500 people.
Murphy and several friends hopped on the next flight to Vancouver to claim the prize. He kept the ticket safely stowed in his shirt pocket during the trip.
Murphy works for Chieftain Metals, a company that aims to reactivate the Tulsequah Chief mine. He’s still deciding what to do with his newfound wealth.
But he plans to take a vacation in Costa Rica, and to donate to the Atlin community’s assisted-living facility and recreation centre, said his sister.