February 07, 2012 18:45 ET

BC Miner Strikes Gold

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 7, 2012) - He may live in a small community in the northwest corner of British Columbia, but there is nothing small about the surprise Steve Murphy of Atlin got Sunday afternoon when he checked his LOTTO MAX ticket.

The 52 year-old mine manager is B.C.'s latest multi-millionaire after winning more than $16.6 million on the February 3 LOTTO MAX draw.

"I stuck the lottery ticket in the Check-A-Ticket machine and I thought I'd won $16,000," said Murphy. "I double checked with the clerk and all the numbers came up - everything lit up - I couldn't believe it, I just couldn't believe it!"

After he checked his ticket at the Atlin Food Basket, B.C.'s most northern lottery retail location, word quickly spread across the town of 500: "The whole town knew in about ten minutes!"

Murphy matched all seven numbers to win his share of the $50 million jackpot. Two other winning tickets were sold in Quebec.

"I went over to my sister's house where we opened a bottle of champagne and celebrated. She couldn't believe it either," said Murphy.

Keeping the winning ticket in his shirt pocket ever since, Murphy made his way to Whitehorse and hopped on the first flight into Vancouver to claim his prize.

While the big win sinks in and next steps are considered, he will take a vacation to Costa Rica and plans to support local community and recreation groups in his home town.

LOTTO MAX can be played at all lottery retail locations and online at www.PlayNow.com, with tickets available until 6:00 p.m. (PDT) on draw day (Friday). Winning numbers and group release forms can be found online at www.bclc.com.

BCLC is a provincial Crown Corporation that offers socially responsible gaming entertainment while generating income that benefits all British Columbians.

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