This is a very cool story and it happened in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
From our local news correspondent in Canada:
He writes that three sisters who work at their family’s restaurant are a whole lot richer, thanks to a winning $6.8 million lotto win they’re sharing with three regulars.
Qerime, Shuki and Gurabie Alievski have worked together at the Prime Bar-B-Q restaurant on for 17 years. But the sisters, all in their mid 30s, told the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation they’ve got no plans to quit the business owned by their father, Robert.
We like where we work. We’re just going to take it day by day, Shuki told lottery officials when the group travelled to Toronto on Monday to claim their prize. We haven’t really thought about what we’re going to do with the money.
The group ticket is shared with customers Chuck Terry, Brian Hutchins and Kevin Ray. The fabulous six “ as Hutchins called the group “ have been buying tickets for about two years.
Up until now, they’d won a free ticket here, a small prize there, Hutchins said by phone from the lotto corporation’s offices. This is a big one.
Their win solves a mystery that has been buzzing among local lottery buyers since the winning Lotto 6/49 ticket was sold in Kitchener last Wednesday.
Last week, one of the ticket’s owners walked into Ben Boo’s Happy Variety, a convenience store in the same little strip mall as Prime Bar-B-Q, and scanned the ticket.
The lottery terminal started flashing immediately, said Boo, who was at the counter. Then the phone rang. It was the lottery corporation.
The machine said “big prize’ and it was making a noise. He didn’t know what was happening, Boo said. He didn’t believe it. He was frozen.
Boo handed the phone to the man, who looked stunned as a lottery official gave him instructions. The OLG re-confirmed the ticket and the jackpot flashed on the terminal’s digital screen.
When Terry, the lottery pool leader, walked into the restaurant and announced they’d won big, the sisters thought he was joking.
He came into the restaurant, all nonchalant, and first told me that we won $2, Qerime told the OLG. He gave me a piece of paper that said “Big Winner,’ but it didn’t have the amount on it, so I threw it onto the counter in the kitchen and focused on getting through the dinner rush.
She was still curious, though, and asked to see the ticket. When she found out what they’d won, her sisters said she almost fainted.
She just could not believe it, laughed Gurabie.
Hutchins had another approach. I sat down and had about eight beers. Maybe it was nine.
According to lottery officials, both Terry and Hutchins are close to retirement, while Ray is a local machinist.