UPDATED: Langley City couple $7 million richer thanks to lottery
They’ve spent the past six years living in a travel trailer, out much of every year on the road working with West Coast Amusements’ travelling carnival.
Now, all that Rick Bourgeois and Michelle Wishard want is a small, simple, but permanent home in Langley, a new Dodge RAM pickup with a hemi motor, and a mass quantity of Atlantic lobster.
The Langley City couple shared their “simple” dreams with the Langley Advance Monday afternoon, just a few hours after picking up their $7-million windfall from the B.C Lottery Corporation (BCLC) offices in Vancouver.
Bourgeois and Wishard are the latest winners in the Lotto 6/49, and the shock of their win still hasn’t fully registered, said Wishard.
They’ve only had four hours sleep in the past two days – since they learned of the win Saturday night.
The pair, who met while working with the Langley-based carnival seven years ago, say they weren’t planning to go back out on the road again this year.
Bourgeois, 48, (known to his friends as Newfie) had started driving with a moving company and Wishard, 43, had been looking for new work close to home in Langley.
Given their new found millionaire status, however, they’ve opted for retirement, instead.
The couple learned they won the lottery Saturday night, about 9 p.m., when Wishard looked up the winning numbers on her cellphone.
She scribbled them down and handed them to Bourgeois.
“I was checking the ticket online and saw we had one number. Then two, and then all six,” he recalled.
Wishard checked again, but still wasn’t convinced. She took a picture of the ticket and sent it to her father in Hazelton, asking him to check. He confirmed, they had all six numbers.
But still, they didn’t believe it.
Unable to sleep, at 6 a.m. Sunday morning, the couple was at a corner store in Willoughby, seeking confirmation. Turns out they had to wait an extra hour because of the time change, for the BCLC computers to come online, but they got the verifcation they so desired.
“This is just surreal and unbelievable!” Wishard said Monday, noting the reality was just now starting to sink in.
Among their plans for the money, they’ll buy the new truck within the next week.
In about a month, they’re expecting to head across Canada with their travel trailer, bound for Newfoundland to visit his family, and Whitehorse to visit some of Wishard’s relatives.
The househunt will begin soon, as well, Bourgeois said.
“I’m going to go looking for a house here, somewhere. Nothing fancy. I don’t want no half-million-dollar house or anything. I’m happy with a brand new, like double-wide mobile on a lot. That’s good enough for us,” he said.
Wishard interjected: “We don’t need nothing fancy. We’ve been living in a travel trailer for six years,” adding that any kind of regular house will seem like a mansion for her cat.
In addition to making some immediate purchases and travel plans, they’re most excited about “paying it forward” and sharing their winnings with loved ones.
“Richard’s helping his family and I’m going to take care of my three kids,” smiled Wishard. “This is amazing!”
Specifically, Bourgeois wants to do something for his mom, sisters, and brother in Newfoundland, while Wishard expects her three kids and granddaughter will benefit somewhat from their windfall.
She has a 16-year-old son, and a 19-year-old and 22-year-old daughter, as well as a granddaughter.
“Honestly, it still really hasn’t hit us yet,” she said. “Maybe a few more days. It still doesn’t feel real.”
Their winning ticket was purchased at the Save on Foods on Yale Road in Chilliwack.
The couple only buy 6/49 tickets a few times a year. They’re more faithful to scratch-and-win tickets, Wishard said, recalling how excited she was earlier in the week when she scratched and won $13.
She joked that she should rush down to the store soon to cash in that windfall.
“We’re not buying nothing, no more,” Bourgeois said. “We don’t need to gamble no more.”
He insists they’ll be sitting down soon with a financial planner to map out their future – something he honestly never thought he’d ever need or be able to do.
“I thought I’d be struggling for the rest of my life, actually. Struggling like I have been. But I don’t have to worry about that no more,” he said.