It was no prank when Thelma Florence won the Guaranteed Prize of $1 million from the Lotto 6/49 draw on April Fools’ Day: April 1, 2023.
On the night of the draw, Florence said her hometown of Hope was buzzing with the news of a local winner. When Florence nervously checked her winning ticket on the BCLC Lotto! App the next morning, she said she was in shock.
“I thought, ‘Is this real? Me? Really?’’’ said Florence. “I sent a screenshot of the app into the family group chat and everyone wondered if it was a late April Fools’ Day joke.”
As the shock began to wear off, Florence said she is “happy and excited” for her and her family. With the winnings, Florence plans to purchase a new car in her favourite colour, green, and help her grandchildren into new vehicles, too.
Florence is a member of the Chawathil First Nation and a Survivor of residential school at St. Mary’s Mission and Residential School. She now visits schools in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley to speak about her experiences. Emphasizing the significance of this truth-telling, Florence said she will continue to share her story with young people in the region to promote awareness about the residential school system.
Florence bought her ticket at Bee’s Food Market in Hope.
In 2022, B.C. lottery players redeemed more than $113 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). The Gold Ball Draw is a guaranteed prize draw where players will win either the Guaranteed Prize of $1 million, or the growing Gold Ball Jackpot that starts at $10 million. The Classic Jackpot offers a prize that is always $5 million. Players can purchase tickets at any lottery retailer or at PlayNow.com. Players can now check their lottery tickets anytime, anywhere on iOS and Android devices.
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 GameSense.com.