Kelowna resident June Bergh was the $50 million Lotto Max jackpot draw last weekend.

Kelowna grandmother wins $50 million Lotto Max jackpot

June Berg said she plans to share her winnings with her children and grandchildren.

  • Apr. 12, 2016 10:00 a.m.

By Adam Williams/Contributor

June Bergh had a good feeling when she woke up on the morning of April 8.

A few hours later, she was Kelowna’s newest multi-millionaire.

June and husband Gus were in Kamloops on Tuesday to pick up their $50 million in winnings from the B.C. Lottery Corporation.

They had the winning ticket that matched all seven numbers in the Friday, April 8, Lotto Max draw.

It was clear the life-changing amount had yet to set in for the mother of two and grandmother of seven.

“I thought it was unreal,” June, a retired OR nurse, said at the press conference on Tuesday.

When she first scanned the ticket, she thought she had maybe won $50,000, seeing a five and a few zeroes.

When Gus looked at the machine, he thought it was a bit more.

“You’re sort of scared,” June said. “It seems so much, you can hardly believe the amount. If it helps my kids and grandkids, that’s a plus.”

The Berghs bought the winning ticket at the Safeway on Highway 97 North, but June normally buys her tickets at Kelowna’s Superstore.

June didn’t pick the numbers, but said she has always had luck with sevens — her winning ticket didn’t contain the lucky number, but was bought on April 7 and included seven numbers.

The couple of 54 years is left to decide what to do with their winnings.

Gus said there are roughly 14 family members who could have money coming their way, with a focus on their son, daughter and grandchildren in Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary, for whom June said times have been tough.

The couple may also take a few more cruises — perhaps down the St. Lawrence River — but has no interest in buying a new house or making any major purchases.

“My life is spent helping others and feeding dogs,” June said.

The jackpot, which is tied for the largest amount ever awarded in B.C., is the second major win in Kelowna in recent weeks. Robert Goertzen won north of $21 million in February.

BCLC CEO Jim Lightbody couldn’t offer a reason for the rash of wins in the area — there was also a $5-million prize awarded in Vernon — but said B.C. receives its share of national prizes.

“Maybe there is something in the water in Kelowna,” he quipped.

June isn’t sure she’ll continue buying lottery tickets following her win, instead preferring the cheaper option of scratch tickets. She guesses she has spent $600 in her life on the lottery.

Meanwhile, Gus, a retired buyer at Safeway, has never been much of a lotto player, feeling more than $20 for a ticket was a steep price.

“But I’ve changed my opinion,” he said with a laugh.

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