Lotto lightning crashed down from the sky Thursday morning, struck a lucky group of 13 co-workers, and rained $49 million upon them.
“I’m still in disbelief, actually,” 24-year-old Sara Gabriel said in an exclusive interview with Metro, her voice shaking with excitement.
Edmonton was buzzing Thursday, when news that the winning ticket for the third largest Lotto 6/49 jackpot in Canadian history was purchased in Edmonton.
Standing outside Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission office in St. Albert on Thursday morning, Gabriel confirmed she is part of 13 female human resources employees from the 13th floor of ATB Financial who are splitting the massive jackpot.
“I have no idea what I’m going to do with my money – but I do know we’re getting married,” Gabriel said, wrapping her arm around her elated fiancé, Eric Gravel.
Western Canadian Lottery Corp. spokeswoman Andrea Marantz said she could not officially confirm the identity of the winner or winners yesterday.
ATB officials hinted the company would confirm winners on Friday. Reporters swarmed the downtown office building Thursday afternoon, hoping to catch a glimpse of the winners, who will each walk away with roughly $3.85 million.
“I’m not the full $49 million richer,” Gabriel said with a beaming smile. “I can’t take all the glory.”
Karma has twice smiled upon Alberta sweepstakes players. A group of 17 oilfield workers from Camrose split $54.3 million in October 2005 – the largest jackpot awarded at that time.
The second-biggest jackpot of $50.3 million was handed out in February to four separate winners across Canada.
Hopefuls vying for the $49,851,871 cash prize spent more than $1.2 million in the last hour of ticket sales Wednesday night, waiting in anticipation for the six winning numbers to be revealed. Odds of winning the jackpot were one in 14 million.