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Smith man wins $1 million

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services

Fort Smith (Dec 05/05) - A Fort Smith man has struck it rich - with a scratch 'n' win lottery ticket.

Duane Sinclair says he couldn't believe his eyes when he uncovered a $1 million win after buying the ticket in Yellowknife. "I was shocked, bewildered and amazed," he recalls.

"I said to my girlfriend, 'Look. It's a million.' She didn't believe me until she counted the zeroes."

The 34-year-old bought three scratch 'n' win tickets, including a $20 Player's Choice Mega Pack, from the Sport North kiosk in Yellowknife's Centre Square Mall on Nov. 26.

That night, he checked the tickets at his girlfriend's home in Yellowknife, and won with a Cool Million ticket.

"It really is an incredible, incredible thrill, and something I won't get used to for a while," he says.

Sinclair says he very rarely buys scratch 'n' win tickets, but occasionally buys Lotto 6-49, Western 6-49 or Super 7 tickets.

The only other major prize Sinclair recalls winning was $1,900 seven or eight years ago on television bingo in Fort Smith. Back then, he remembers shaking when the cash was counted out into his hand.

However, he says he was not shaking when he was handed a $1 million cheque on Nov. 29 in St. Albert, Alta., where he went to collect his winnings. "I suppose I still didn't believe it, even then."

After getting the money, he put the cheque in an Edmonton bank at the urging of a cousin who lives in Edmonton. "I was just going to keep it in my front pocket until I got home."

Sinclair has no immediate plans for the money, other than likely upgrading his house.

The father of a four-year-old son says the money is not going to change his life. He will stay at his job as a forest fire air attack supervisor with the department of Environment and Natural Resources.

He doesn't even plan to buy a new car, since he is happy with his 1991 Camaro. "It's paid off and it runs like a charm."

Sinclair's prize continues a recent winning streak in the North. Six prizes of $1 million or more have been won on lottery games over the years, with three of those claimed in the past 13 months.

The first of the recent wins came when a Yellowknife man won $1 million in October of last year. In September, a Whitehorse man also won $1 million.

The largest jackpot in the North was $1,091,002.40 won with a Lotto 6-49 ticket in Yellowknife in 1989.