A 55-year-old Edmonton man who picked the same set of lottery numbers for nearly three decades has claimed the provincial record-tying $60-million Lotto Max jackpot.
“I saw my number coming on, after that I kept quiet for a couple of minutes, my body calmed down. I called my wife and said ‘I win,’ but I didn’t tell her it was the big one,” said Bon Truong at a media availability in the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis office in St. Albert on Wednesday.
He came to Canada 36 years ago as a single man from Vietnam.
Truong bought the winning ticket at Pure Casino Yellowhead with a number combination of important dates and family birthdays and discovered his win the day after the draw.
“Right now, I’m really shocked. I’m really happy, but still shocked,” said Truong.
It’s been 305 days since Oct. 26, 2018, Lotto Max draw, and the ticket was only a couple of months away from expiring, one year after the Western Canada Lottery Corporation draw took place.
He said he waited for 10 months because he was thinking. He signed his name and phone number on the ticket and put it in a safe. Truong thought about what the win would mean for his family and wanted to make sure they were ready and prepared for those changes.
“I’m thinking for the big one, pay the mortgage first, and I’m thinking about a holiday (when) everything’s done. But I’m not decided, and a lot of thinking has to be done,” he said.
Truong said he did not plan on telling his three children the full details of his win because he wanted them to still work hard. “Maybe after 10 years or 20 years I’ll tell them,” he said.
The landscaper said he would probably return to work.
“I’m still young. I’m still strong,” Truong said. He might also still buy lottery tickets, he said, joking that he would simply buy the 649.
His niece Mina Truong joined him at the announcement and said she didn’t believe her uncle when he first told her, but was very happy for the winner and his family.
“Coming here with nothing – nothing – after the Vietnam war, he worked. That’s all they did: work, save money to buy a house, their lives here, have a better life for their children, play the lottery, and finally, after 30 years it pays off. You’re just really happy for them,” said Mina Truong.
This multimillion-dollar jackpot is the first big Alberta win purchased in the capital city, with the previous five top prizes finding winners in small communities.
Longtime family friend Don Bishop learned about the win a few days after Truong and teared up speaking at the announcement Wednesday.
“I’ve known the Truong family since the ’70s and have admired them enormously – the hardest working people you’d ever want to meet. Delightful people.”