EDMONTON – A Fort McMurray man who purchased a lottery ticket on a notoriously unlucky date is now planning his retirement after winning more than $21 million in the Lotto Max jackpot.
Chris Fowler, 55, bought an $11 Quick Pick ticket at a Mac’s convenient store on Friday, July 13. Two days later, he popped into an Esso gas station on his morning walk to check out the results.
“First, when I looked at it, there were just so many digits I didn’t know what it was,” said Fowler, who handed the ticket to a store clerk. That’s when it became clear that he had won $21.8 million.
“I didn’t believe it. I still don’t,” he said.
Still in shock, the single father headed to his son Jason’s house which was a few minutes away.
“He came up from the basement and he said I was white as a ghost and couldn’t hardly talk. He thought something bad had happened.”
Fowler is originally from Newfoundland but has worked as a heavy equipment operator in Alberta for more than 30 years. He plans to retire next week and do a bit of travelling, starting with a trip to Las Vegas.
“He’s seen it before, but he’s just got to see it again in a different light,” said his daughter, Danielle.
Within the next day or two, Fowler is going to make a lifelong dream of owning a Corvette come true. But mostly, he just wants to take care of his family and allow them to live debt free.
Jason said his dad deserves the winnings. “He’s an honest hard-worker, just like anyone else.”
A faithful lottery purchaser for many years, Fowler said he will continue to play the Lotto Max.
“I’ll be here again,” he said. “Next time, I’ll be more prepared.”
Danielle Fowler is expecting her first child within the next few months. If it’s a boy, she said she will name him Maximilian Christopher.
Fowler’s winning ticket was one of two sold across Canada that matched all seven numbers (3, 13, 14, 23, 33, 36 and 45) drawn July 13. The two winners shared the $45.5-million prize.
This is the fifth largest Lotto Max prize ever won in Alberta.
The odds of winning are 1 in 28.6 million.