Linton and Olga Barnes speak with reporters Thursday following a ceremony to present them with a cheque for $21,071,873. They bought the sole winning ticket in Atlantic Canada for the multimillion-dollar prize. — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram
Linton and Olga Barnes of Conception Bay South boogied their way onto the concert stage on George Street in St. John’s Thursday to accept a giant Lotto 649 cheque for $21,071,873.
The cheque is the largest presented by the Atlantic Lottery Corp. in Atlantic Canada this year.
Linton said when he heard the winning numbers (3-8-15-16-20-46) for Sept. 24 on the radio, he asked his wife to check their ticket.
“She looked at it and said: ‘It’s us! It’s us! It’s us!’” he said.
Then she went to church.
“I was getting ready for church and I realized we’d won,” Olga explained.
“But I just had to compose myself and just get out of the situation for a little while.
“It’s a good feeling, but still we were half-thinking we were looking at it wrong,” she told reporters after the couple accepted the giant cheque.
“When we found out it was true things sorta went through the roof,” her husband added.
Linton, 63, is a retired fire captain with St. John’s Regional Fire Department. Olga, 60, decided to retire from Canada Revenue Agency on the way over to pick up the cheque, her husband said.
They have two sons, a daughter and two granddaughters.
With their winnings, they plan to purchase a truck, travel more and spend more time with their grandchildren.
“We plan to share it with our family and we have some charities that we support, so it will be put to good use,” Olga said.
Meanwhile, according to Linton’s mom — also named Olga — the family is a large one.
“Linton is one of eight and Olga is one of nine,” she told the Telegram.
“It’s unbelievable for one person to win so much money,” she remarked. “I’m happy for them.”
The winning ticket was sold at North Atlantic Manuals Orange Store. The store received a cheque for $210,718.73 — one per cent of the prize.
Atlantic Lottery’s Jennifer Lawlor said that Wednesday night’s winning ticket for more than $120,000 was sold in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.