“Surreal” $1-Million Win for Sooke Excavator Operator

May 12, 2021

Sooke Winner

Patrick OLeary says one of his favourite pastimes is mowing the lawn, during which he dreams about travelling and retirement. The Sooke resident and 20-year excavator operator says those dreams are now more like reality after winning the Lotto 6/49 Guaranteed $1-million Prize in the March 24, 2021 draw.

OLeary purchased his ticket from the Petro Canada at 6692 Sooke Road, and checked it at a local drugstore where he likes to buy his cream every Saturday.

“I checked (the ticket) the first time and couldn’t make out what was on the screen because I didn’t have my glasses on,” he recalled. “Then I checked the second time by going to see the clerk and I thought something screwed up as the machine shut down!” 

After he realized that the machine freeze was not due to a technical glitch – but a major win – the Vancouver Islander said he immediately shared the news with his fiancé.

“Her first reaction was disbelief as I tend to joke a lot,” OLeary admitted, “but I would never joke about something like this. Once she realized this was true, she was shocked and repeated ‘Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God!’” 

OLeary and his fiancé celebrated by toasting with champagne the night they found out about the unexpected win, and have been content to keep their celebrations low key at home since then. Once it’s safe to do so, he said they would like to plan a return trip to Ireland to visit friends and family.

“It feels great,” he said. “Surreal – it’s hard to describe.”

So far in 2021, B.C. lottery players redeemed more than $35 million in winnings from Lotto 6/49. Lotto 6/49 is a nationwide lottery game drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays after 7:30 p.m. (PST). Anyone can win, and #YouCouldBeNext! Watch some amazing lottery winner stories online. Each draw includes a Guaranteed Prize Draw of $1 million. 

Players can now check their lottery tickets anytime, anywhere on iOS or Android devices. Learn more about the BCLC Lotto! app here.

BCLC offers socially responsible gambling entertainment while generating income to benefit all British Columbians. Remember, play for fun, not to make money. For more information, visit