A Canadian man’s unique lottery-ticket-buying habit has paid off for him in a big way.
For years, Harry Black has played the very same numbers, and he’s always bought two tickets with those same numbers every time he plays.
The 66-year-old has never won more than $10 at a time, but he stuck to his routine when he played the British Columbia Lottery Commission’s 6/49 game on April 12.
When the numbers were drawn the next day, Black had matched all six. The total jackpot was a record $63 million, and there were four separate winning tickets. Since Black held two of those tickets, he came away with half the pot, or $31.6 million.
At a press conference on Tuesday to collect his winnings, Black, who lives in Surrey, British Columbia, was asked what he planned to do with his windfall.
“After this is done, I’ve got to get out of Dodge and do something I’ve never done in my entire life: go on a holiday … You have no idea how much stress there is when you win on the lotto,” he told Canada’s CTV News, explaining that he needed some time to let things sink in.
Not only was Black’s win unusual, but it likely made history.
“This is a wonderful surprise to all of us,” Kevin Gass, vice president of Lottery Gaming at BCLC, said in a statement. “While it’s not known how many people buy identical tickets for a draw, it is the first time in the company’s recollection that we’ve had this unique sort of win.”
Black was the final winner to claim his portion of the jackpot.
The film industry employee who works part-time doesn’t plan to quit, but plans to travel, buy some land and build his dream house, invest his money and share “a significant portion” of his winnings with family and friends, according to release from the lottery commission.
The odds of matching all six numbers is 1 in 13.985 million.
Canada does not tax lottery winnings.