Brantford’s Terry Hostikka got a $16-million shock on Wednesday morning.
The 55-year-old factory worker walked into the Esso gas station on King George Road, near Kent Road, to check his weekly Lotto 6-49 quick pick ticket shortly after 10 a.m.
Hostikka had purchased the winning ticket in the June 30 draw.
When the self-serve kiosk flashed the words “big winner” at him, things got exciting inside the station pretty quickly.
“When he came to the counter and said it was a big winner I just thought he was kidding,” employee Ian Wilson said. “Everybody jokes that they have a big winner.”
But when Wilson scanned the ticket and the screen froze, he knew something big was happening.
Hostikka said he started shaking from the moment he scanned the ticket at the kiosk.
“I didn’t know how much I had won,” he said. “We had to call the OLG to find out.”
Joey Kitchen was working with Wilson at the counter and fielded the subsequent phone call from the OLG.
“I talked to the woman on the phone and passed it to Terry,” Kitchen said. “But she wouldn’t disclose how much he had won. Terry was asking me and all I could say was that it could be a few thousand dollars, but who knows.”
Kitchen was instructed by the OLG to scan the ticket again. He said Hostikka couldn’t see the screen from where he was standing.
“I just looked at him and said ‘you just won $16 million,’” Kitchen said. “He was very calm. The woman from OLG asked if he could come to the head office (on Wednesday) and Terry said that he couldn’t because he’d be celebrating.”
“He looked calm,” Wilson said. “But you could tell he was exploding inside.”
Hostikka grew up in Brantford and has worked in factories his whole life. He has been on disability with a back injury for the past three years.
“My wife passed away three years ago, too, so I’ve kind of been on my own a lot,” he said. “I’ll just pay off all my bills, retire up north and have fun. I’ll be doing a lot of fishing.”
Kitchen said the store’s lottery terminal must be lucky.
“We’ve only had it in here about a month,” he said. “My dad and I have been running this station for the bank until new owners come in about 20 days from now. I was trying to get the lottery terminal back in here for a while and just got it approved recently.”
Hostikka said he doesn’t play any lucky numbers.
“It was just a quick pick,” he said. “A $3 ticket.”