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Newfoundland fisherman lands $12.5M share of 6-49 jackpot

TORONTO - After 30 years of hauling crab off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Earle Smith was ready to retire.

TORONTO - After 30 years of hauling crab off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Earle Smith was ready to retire.

His son-in-law Deon Goobie has always dreamed of owning a metallic grey Lamborghini. Now both will get their wish, and much more, after the two shared one of the four winning tickets in Saturday's $50.3-million Lotto 6-49 draw.

Smith, 53, and his wife were visiting Goobie and their daughter Lisa in Courtice, Ont., east of Toronto, over the weekend.

Before Goobie, 32, left for his shift at Ontario Power Generation on Saturday, Smith - who already had his 6-49 ticket - reminded Goobie that if he wanted to split any possible winnings, he should get one of his own.

"On the way (to work) I picked up a lotto ticket," Goobie said Monday after the two men claimed their $12.5-million prize in Toronto.

"I worked my night shift, came home, went to bed, and just as I was going to sleep, Earle came up over the stairs and he was going crazy and I didn't know what was going on."

Smith, of Clarenville, on the east coast of Newfoundland, had checked the numbers once. The two men checked them again - just to be sure - before contacting lottery officials.

After that, news of their win quickly spread.

"Home word travels fast, so everybody probably knew within an hour," Goobie said. "I called my mom and dad because they're still in Newfoundland, and basically once they got the word, everybody knew - all my extended family knew and my friends.

"Up until today it's been pretty crazy with the phone calls and the text messaging."

Both Smith and Goobie said they plan on taking care of their families.

"I'm retiring from crab fishing and I'm going to fish in the rivers for salmon ... for pleasure," said the soft-spoken Smith.

Goobie and his wife have a 13-month-old son and recently bought a new house.

"That's the whole reason (Earle) came up," Goobie said. "We just purchased a new home and the construction date is in April, so they came up to help us with the move. We were in the whole process of picking out all the upgrades and all that stuff.

"I guess now we'll be getting a bigger (house)."

When asked if their new-found wealth would change them, both men chuckled.

"No, not me," said Goobie, who plans continue working. "What I drive? Yeah. But me personally, no."

Two of the other winning tickets for Saturday's draw were also bought in Ontario, with the fourth purchased in Quebec.

Canada's biggest lottery jackpot was a $54-million prize in 2005 shared by 17 oil and gas workers in Camrose, Alta.

 
 
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