GANDER, NL – There won’t be many more Fort McMurray turnarounds for David Head.
The 51-year-old Wing’s Point, Gander Bay, man was the recent winner of the $1-million Lotto 649 guaranteed prize.
Head was preparing to head back to Alberta, where he works as a foreman with Aecon Mining, on Jan. 30, but a winter storm cancelled his flight.
Both he and his wife Darlene were talking about the unclaimed prize that morning, and as he was packing his suitcase for another flight, she reminded him to check his tickets.
Stopping in at a nearby shop, Head was informed he had two free tickets and two-dollars. But then something happened.
“The clerk said, ‘there’s something wrong with the machine, I think you won big,’” said Head, who minutes later would find out he was a millionaire.
At the Atlantic Lottery Corperation announcement in Gander on Feb. 7, Head said it was all pretty emotional after that, and it’s something that still hasn’t sunk in.
“It looks good in the bank account,” he said.
Just five years shy of his Alberta retirement plans, Head isn’t sure when he’ll stop working, but says it is coming sooner rather than later.
The turnarounds would see him gone for extensive periods of time, at times between six to eight months. If he hadn’t won the Jan. 30 prize, it would have been May 1 before his turnaround ended and he would return home for two weeks off.
Head will also be using the money to pay off his truck, get a new 23-foot King Fisher boat, help out family, travel, make a few investments, and spend a lot more time with family.
“It’s awesome,” he said.
It was also announced the winning ticket was purchased at Saunders General Store, in George’s Point, which will receive a one-per-cent seller’s prize.