Playing the lottery for 25 years finally paid off for Mary Hnatiw.
The Chilliwack resident won $500,000 from the May 1 draw, matching all four numbers to will the top Lotto Max Extra prize.
Hnatiw said she was “in shock” when she realized she’d won, after scanning her ticket after filling up at the gas station. The first person she told, she said, was her daughter.
“[My daughter] was so surprised,” said Hnatiw. “She said, ‘I can’t believe it!’”
The long-time lottery player usually plays Lotto Max and Lotto 6/49, and purchased her winning ticket at the Lickman Chevron in Chilliwack. She said she always says “yes” to the Extra.
Hnatiw – who said she’s been keeping busy at home with cooking and sewing during the pandemic – claimed her prize through BCLC’s temporary alternate prize-claim process, as in-person prize payouts have been suspended due to COVID-19.
While Hnatiw said she would love to spend her winnings on a trip to Europe, she said knows that’s not an option right now.
“I will celebrate at home and share the rest with my kids and grandkids,” she said.