'You don’t believe what you’re seeing is real': Soon-to-be newlyweds win $500,000 Lotto Max prize

Michele Zaharia and Mark Langton (BCLC)

A $500,000 lottery win just made the financial stress of paying for a summer wedding a bit easier for a couple from B.C.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” Lotto Max winner Mark Langton from Lake Cowichan, B.C., said in a statement. “You don’t believe what you’re seeing is real.”

Langton and his soon-to-be-wife, Michele Zaharia, matched all four Extra number in the Lotto Max draw on Dec. 31, 2019. Zaharia was the one who discovered that the couple had the winning ticket on the BCLC lottery app and took a screen capture of the winning message for a keepsake.

“My volume was turned off and [Mark and I] checked it three or four times,” Zaharia said. She purchased the ticket from a Walmart in the city of Duncan.

“Shock is the best way to describe it,” Langton added.

The couple have quite practical plans to spend their winnings. They was to pay down their mortgage, buy a wedding dress and possibly retire a few years earlier than they initially thought.

 “It’s getting more real every minute,” Zaharia said.

So far this year, B.C. lottery players have claimed more than $15 million in Lotto Max prizes and more than $5 million in Extra prizes. Lotto Max draws happen Tuesdays and Fridays at 10:30 p.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased at any lottery retailer or online.