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$20M B.C. lotto winner only played because he’d just won $20

VANCOUVER – A northern B.C. couple now $20 million richer say they only bought a ticket that day because they’d recently won $20.

Ken and Susan Salter, residents of a village of about 1,350 people located southeast of Smithers, said they don’t normally buy tickets on Tuesday.

However, having just won $20, Ken decided to try his luck one particular Tuesday, picking up his life-changing ticket to the Oct. 29 Lotto Max draw.

All seven numbers matched.

In a statement issued through the B.C. Lottery Corporation Friday, the Telkwa resident said he was “shaking like a leaf.”

Susan didn’t believe him when he called to tell her the news, Ken said.

“At first, there was nothing but dead silence, so I thought something was wrong,” Susan said in the news release.

“But then he whispered really quietly, ‘We just won $20 million,’ and then I thought he was joking.”

Ken said he also had some fun with a cashier after it was announced where the winning ticket had been sold.

“I overheard the store clerk talking about a $20 million winner in the Stikine region. I came up to her and said, ‘You might want to scan this ticket,’ with a grin on my face.”

Asked what they planned to do with the sudden windfall, the Salters said they had no plans to move out of Telkwa. Instead, they hope to build their dream home on the property they already own.

They’re also planning to take a river cruise in Europe with the money.

And there’s one more thing that might change for the family.

“After this, I think I might play the Tuesday draws more often,” Ken joked.

The Salters hold one of two winning tickets sold in B.C. last week.

The second was sold in Vancouver to James Russell, who also matched all seven numbers in the Nov. 1 Lotto Max draw and won $10 million.

The odds of winning a jackpot are one in 33,294,800, officials say, and while it’s not quite as unlikely, it is rare to have back-to-back wins in the same province.

“The last time British Columbia had consecutive lottery winners was for the Lotto Max draws held on February 26, 2010, and March 5, 2010,” spokesperson Matt Lee said in an email.

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Ian Holliday

Susan and Kenneth Salter speak at a news conference on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019.

A northern B.C. couple now $20 million richer say they only bought a ticket that day because they’d recently won $20.

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