Margaret and Gerald Stewart knew their grandchildren would look after them.
The New Glasgow couple started using the birthdates of their three grandchildren, their son as well as the number 16 in honour of a granddaughter who just turned that age, in the lottery this past September.
“We played those numbers every draw,” said Margaret. “I said to Gerry when we started playing them, ‘These are our grandchildren and our son’s birthday numbers and I am going to win on these. I told the girls at Big Al’s that some day I am going to win on these.’”
Gerald said he remembers the conversation well, adding “You said they were going to take care of us.”
Last Wednesday, their numbers came in big, winning the retired couple $1.75 million in Lotto 6/49.
“It’s crazy and unbelievable,” said Margaret. “Dreams do come true. Miracles do happen and I feel we have been totally blessed here. And play your lotto tickets everybody. I am still shaking. First thing we are going to do is we are going to wrap our arms around our beautiful granddaughters and hold them and hug them tight.
The Stewarts flew home their son from the West immediately after verifying their win to help celebrate.
The Stewarts have played the lottery in group pools at their respective workplaces for 40 years but never won more than $100 at one time.
So when Gerald heard that a winning ticket had been sold in New Glasgow he asked Margaret to check the ticket.
When she walked into Big Al’s Convenience in New Glasgow and saw a print-out of the winning numbers, Margaret said she didn’t believe her own eyes.
“I walked over to the ladies that were working and I asked them, ‘Could you do me favour?’ She looked at me and said, ‘Are you OK?’ because I was shaking bad. I said, ‘I am OK. I am not sure but I need you to do me a favour. I need you to look at this print-out and this set of numbers and you need to tell me if you see what I am seeing here.’”
Sure enough, all the numbers matched and the Stewarts were suddenly millionaires.
“I can’t tell you the feeling. It is totally overwhelming and totally unbelievable. They had to get me chair to sit down on because I couldn’t stop shaking,” she said.
Margaret said she almost didn’t purchase a ticket for that particular lottery draw on Wednesday because she was busy helping her mother decorate for Christmas on a stormy fall day.
She was concerned about the weather, and it wasn’t her usual stop, but she stopped to buy gas along the way at the Needs gas bar in Stellarton.
“When I went to pay, my number selection slips popped out of my wallet,” she said. “I told the cashier, ‘You’d better put those in for tonight.’ Had I not went to get some gas, I probably wouldn’t have purchased a ticket that night.”
Two $1.75-million winning tickets were sold in Nova Scotia in the Dec. 6 LOTTO 6/49 draw. A cheque presentation was held for the other Nova Scotia winner, Albert Mills, in Hubbards on Tuesday, Dec. 12.
There have been eight major Atlantic Lottery wins in the past few weeks, with prizes ranging from Set for Life to the Stewarts’ jackpot win.
– LOTTO 6/49 holds draws every Wednesday and Saturday.
– For $3, you can select six numbers from one to 49 or you can choose Insta Pik and the numbers will be randomly generated. Margaret Stewart chose her numbers through a selection slip for her $1.75-million winning ticket.
– Each Wednesday and Saturday night, six main numbers and one bonus number are drawn at random from among all numbers from one to 49. If your LOTTO 6/49 numbers match the six winning numbers drawn, you win the jackpot.
– The Dec. 6 $7-million jackpot was split four ways, with each winner taking home $1.75 million. The other three winning jackpot tickets were purchased in: Hubbards, N.S., British Columbia and Queb