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This article was published 19/5/2021 (243 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
When Keith Spulnick realized he was the winner of one of the largest lottery jackpots in Manitoba history, he had trouble believing it was real.
The Fraserwood man did some chores, took some time to think about it, and finally sat down and told his wife they had won a $27.5-million Lotto 6/49 jackpot.
"She didn’t believe me, asked, ‘Are you sure that’s not $27,000?’And I said ‘No, that’s a lot of commas.’ It was pretty surreal for us," Spulnick said while claiming his prize this week.
The ticket was purchased at the Riverton Shop Easy in Riverton. His six numbers, chosen at random, matched the winning numbers for the May 12 draw: 30, 35, 39, 42, 46 and 48.
It is the largest Lotto 6/49 jackpot awarded in Manitoba history, and the fourth win in the province this year with a prize of $1 million or more.
The other three big wins in Manitoba this year came out of Winnipeg: a family who shared a $60-million Lotto Max win and two separate $1-million wins. Spulnick’s win is the third-largest lotto jackpot awarded in Manitoba, following the $60-million win this year and a $50-million prize paid to a couple from Sagkeeng First Nation in 2009.
The money comes just in time for the family: Spulnick hasn’t been able to work recently due to health problems. By the time he recovered, he said he didn’t have a dime to his name and the family had been slowly dealing with debt.
"I have a picture of me with my last five bucks — that was all I had left then. I’m going to frame that," Spulnick said.
Spulnick did go back to work, but now he gets to retire happily.
He’s already bought a new vehicle and trailer to travel when it’s safe after the lifting of pandemic restrictions (but said he will fix his old reliable truck), plans to pay off the family’s debts and invest the rest.
Spulnick plans to retire from playing the lottery, too.
"I don’t need anything else. I’m not a high-lifestyle guy. I want to remain me — this is all we need," he said. "It’s the best thing that ever happened in my life. I never thought I would get this."
Malak Abas is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.