Even though he’s 7-million Canadian dollars (P271.3 million) richer, Vito Halasan has no plans to leave his job as a janitor, though he does intend on scaling back his hours.
The Filipino, now a resident of Surrey city in British Columbia, matched all six numbers on his Lotto 6/49 ticket to win the $7-million jackpot from the April 27, 2019 draw”•only a few days after celebrating his 58th birthday, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation said in a statement.
An estimated 851,000 Filipinos live in Canada according to its 2016 census, with most living in urbanized areas.
“I remember scanning my ticket and seeing all these numbers,” says Halasan. “I have really blurry vision so I had to hold the ticket right up to my face. I couldn’t believe it.”
Halasan recalls calling his daughter in a panic in the hazy moments after realizing his big win.
“He sat me down at the table,” his daughter describes. “And then he whispered really quietly to me that he won $7 million. I didn’t believe him. We had to check online several times.”
Halasan’s huge win means being able to pursue what’s at the top of his bucket list. With three kids and four grandchildren, his goal is to give his family the life they had dreamed of since moving to Canada from the Philippines in 2009.
“I buy lottery tickets so I can dream,” Halasan says. “I dream of being able to take care of my kids and make their future better. Now we’ll be able to buy a nice house for my children and grandchildren.”
BCLC offers socially responsible gambling entertainment while generating income to benefit British Columbians, with the motto “Remember, play for fun, not to make money.”
In Canada, Lotto 6/49 is a nationwide lottery game drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays after 7:30 p.m. (Pacific Time). Each draw includes a Guaranteed Prize Draw of $1 million (P38.75 million).