ST. ALBERT, Alta. – Randall Rush says it sounds hokey, but he was sure he was going to win it big someday.
The Alberta man says he started playing the lottery six years ago, after a vision of digits popped in his head. He wrote them down and a friend persuaded him to play.
So he did, every week, without fail.
And then it happened. He won $50 million dollars.
“I didn’t think I was going to win. I knew I was going to win,” the grinning 48-year-old told reporters Friday at the Western Canada Lottery Corp.’s office in St. Albert.
Rush says he was at home last weekend in the town of Lamont, northeast of Edmonton, when he noticed he was out of cat food. And his famished feline, named Conway Kitty, wasn’t too pleased.
He went to a grocery store to stock up and decided, while there, to check his growing pile of lottery tickets. It was the last one scanned that turned out to be the winner of the Jan. 16 Lotto Max jackpot.
Rush said he was expecting a win worth maybe a few million — not one so enormous.
He screamed and the store clerk screamed too. He thought he was going to hyperventilate. And he felt like he was a bit drunk.
It took about “a nanosecond” for him to decide to quit his job at a heavy equipment rental business.
Then he started meeting with bankers to set up a trust fund that will help hungry and homeless children around the world.
“When I was 26 years old, I was … close to being homeless. I never forgot the experience,” Rush said.
“This is a tremendous amount of money and I’m looking at this like a gift from God and it’s a responsibility.”
But he also plans to have fun too.
He describes himself as a “car nut” and will splurge on his dream car, a 1965 Corvette, and likely a Porsche.
He doesn’t have any real family, so will help out his close circle of friends, including one who took him in when his house burned down 12 years ago.
And then, there’s his kitty.
Rush joked about putting the cat on a gourmet diet of pate. He said the animal isn’t as excited by the win and just wants to nap.
“He’s taking it in stride.”
Rush is the second $50 million lottery winner in Alberta. An Edmonton couple won the same prize in a Lotto Max draw in December 2013.
The largest single Canadian lottery win also came from the province. A group of oilfield workers won $54.3 million in a Lotto 6-49 draw in October 2005.