Castlegar woman claims $3-million prize

  • Feb. 4, 2011 7:00 a.m.

Castlegar residents Bela and Sandra Fesus accept their cheque for just over $3 million after redeeming their winning Lotto 6-49 ticket at the BCLC office in Kamloops on Friday.

An occasional lottery player who usually “never wins anything” was surprised, to say the least, to walk into a Castlegar drug store on Thursday and learn she was $3-million richer.

“It’s a big shock,” Castlegar resident Sandra Fesus said in a telephone interview from the BC Lottery Corporation office in Kamloops on Friday afternoon, where she had just picked up her prize.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet. It doesn’t seem real.”

But it’s quite real for Sandra and her husband Bela, who spent a sleepless night in Castlegar on Thursday before making the 460-kilometre road trip to Kamloops to verify their ticket and claim their winnings.

Sandra bought the ticket in late December but only decided to check if it was a winner this past Thursday, despite hearing the news that a $3-million Lotto 6-49 ticket had been recently sold in Castlegar.

Why the delay?

“I usually never win anything, anyway,” she said. “I heard the news but I didn’t think it was me.”

A cashier at Shoppers Drug Mart had the pleasure of informing Sandra that it was, indeed, her who had won the top prize from the Dec. 29 draw.

“The checkout lady, she was excited,” Sandra said, recalling the moment. “Then I just went into shock. I just froze.”

After pausing to compose herself, she decided to cancel the shopping trip she had originally planned for the day.

“I just went straight home and waited for the rest of my family,” she said. “We couldn’t sleep all night and then we drove straight here (to Kamloops.)”

Sandra said the drive never felt longer.

The family is still processing their newfound wealth and Sandra said they’re not sure yet exactly what they’ll do with the winnings.

As for the winning numbers — 6, 11, 19, 21, 39 and 49 — she said there is no particular significance to them.

“It was just a quick pick,” she said.

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