Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

$17,026,623 -- and 50 cents -- richer

No more lottery tickets for winners

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Now that the winners of the fourth-largest lottery haul in Manitoba history are retired, they can pursue what appears to be their true love -- standup comedy.

Bruce and Monique Willman met the media Wednesday to receive their oversized cheque for $17,026,623.50 from lottery officials, and peppered their comments with a string of one-liners, much to the delight of the 40 or so friends and family members who attended the news conference.

When asked how she found out about their win, Monique feigned surprised and replied, "We just realized we won half an hour ago."

Actually, the couple discovered their big win Sunday morning.

After making a Mother's Day breakfast for his wife, Bruce decided to check their ticket's numbers online. When he matched all six numbers, he couldn't believe his eyes. He needed secondary confirmation.

"We went to two different 7-Elevens because we didn't trust the first machine. Until you get the official word from Western (Canada) Lotteries, you still don't believe it," Monique said.

"I just knew that two minutes after I read the winning numbers, I retired," Bruce said.

The Willmans won just over $17 million in Saturday's 6/49 draw.

They have already bought a Dodge truck but don't have many other plans for their new-found wealth. They do, however, intend to share with those they're closest to. And no, they're not worried about long-lost relatives appearing at their doorstep.

"We've surrounded ourselves with good people throughout the years and they're here now," Bruce said.

The couple received a rock star's welcome as they walked into the news conference room at the Fort Garry Hotel. Their friends and family members whooped and hollered throughout. They also rushed the couple, camera phones in hand, when they were presented with their novelty cheque.

Bruce laughed as he recounted getting into the limousine in front of the lotteries office shortly after noon.

"These two young guys walked by and one of them opened his arms and yelled out, 'Dad!' " he said.

One thing they won't be spending money on is lottery tickets. "I'll let someone else win now," he said.

Only three other lottery tickets have yielded a bigger windfall in Manitoba -- $50 million on Lotto Max in November 2009, $27.2 million on 6/49 in November 2005 and $19.9 million on Super 7 in December 2001.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 16, 2013 A2

History

Updated on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 7:32 AM CDT: adds photo, adds video

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