VANCOUVER - The Lotto Max jackpot has hit $65 million ahead of this Friday’s draw in B.C.
Lotto Max is also offering eight Maxmillion prizes, which means there is a total of $73 million to be won.
If no one claims the prize after this Friday’s draw, the jackpot will climb to $70 million, making it the largest jackpot ever offered in Canada. The draw for that jackpot would be held on Oct. 8.
In July, retired commercial fisherman Joseph Katalinic won a record-breaking $60 million Lotto Max jackpot. He managed to match all seven numbers and won the largest lottery prize ever in B.C. history. The Richmond man said at the time that he planned to "live like a king" and said he went home to drink a shot of whisky after he triple-checked his ticket at three different stores.
"The first one I told, my older daughter, she put her arms around me and started crying like hell," Katalinic said in August.
Katalinic’s identity remained a mystery for nearly a month as he waited to come forward to claim his prize. When he was asked at the time why he decided to wait so long, he said one of his daughters told him there was no reason to hurry.
Verna Holmes sold Katalinic the ticket at the Seafair Smoke & Mixer in Richmond and also received a cheque for $60,000. Retailers who sell winning tickets with prizes worth more than $10,000 are rewarded by BCLC with a percentage of the prize paid
In February, a husband and wife from Merritt won a $25.9 million Lotto Max jackpot. George Munro and Rowena Inyallie said at the time they planned to use the money to fund an early retirement and buy jerseys for the baseball team they run.
"This win comes at a perfect time as I was just thinking there's no way I can do my job for another 20 years," he said in February. "It's really physically demanding. I've let work know I can stay on until they find a replacement."
BCLC said in a statement that B.C. residents have claimed more than $181 million in Lotto Max prizes so far this year.