Debbie Freeman checked the winning numbers several times before accepting the fact she’d won $191,154.70 in a Lotto Max draw last Saturday.
“When the guy from Lotto Max asked me over the phone how I felt, I told him I thought I was in shock,” the Williams Lake resident said Wednesday at Shopper’s Drug Mart where she’s worked for 10 years.
It was her first day back to work after travelling to Kamloops to claim her win.
“I had to do a three-hour security interview to make sure I hadn’t purchased my ticket at work, Freeman said. “We aren’t allowed to buy lottery tickets here because we sell them.”
Her winning ticket was purchased at Save-On-Foods where she stops every Friday to buy lunch and a ticket on her way to work.
“I’ve been doing that for years,” she said of the routine. “I have numbers I always play, but it was actually a quick pick that I won on.”
To welcome her back, Freeman’s co-workers decorated the coffee room with balloons, streamers and congratulation signs.
One co-worker even made her a cake with the words ‘Lotto Max, Congratulations Debbie Freeman, $191,154.70,’ iced across the top.
“You deserve it,” co-worker Savanna Dickey told Freeman as she arrived for her shift. “It makes me want to cry.”
With the winnings, Freeman plans to pay off the remainder of her car loan and invest the rest for retirement.
“I will be 61 in August,” she said. “I plan to keep working, but it will be nice to be debt free when I retire.”
She’s also planning a holiday to Hawaii in January for a week with her son Matt who is working on becoming a master corporal in the army and is stationed at CFB Edmonton with Lord Strathcona’s Horse.
“I’ve been to Vancouver Island, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I like to camp,” Freeman grinned.
“I like simple things. You can find good things anywhere if you look hard enough.”
Winning a lottery isn’t something that happens to a person like her, Freeman said.
“It was my lucky day. It will make a huge difference in my life.”