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ICYMI: Hard-working immigrant wins maxed out Lotto Max

Waited 10 months before coming forward to claim the $60 million prize

Bon Truong waited 10 months before coming forward. He waited, and he spent a lot of time contemplating the possibilities of a $60-million winning Lotto Max ticket.

“I keep thinking about one month or two month … but a lot of thinking. It’s big money. A lot of thinking,” he said, during a press conference at Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis on Wednesday morning.

The moment finally ended the big question that had been lingering since last October. A single winning ticket was purchased by someone in Edmonton but who it was, nobody knew until now.

Truong immigrated to Canada in 1983, a boat person from Vietnam trying to build a new life after the Vietnam War. He was 22 years old at the time and moved between Edmonton and Vancouver, finding work as a gardener, a profession he still enjoys and one that supports him, his wife and their three children.

He learned of his win when he checked the numbers the day after the Oct. 26, 2018 draw. It was as shocking for him then as it is now.

“I go home. I sit down and relax by myself. I tell my wife, ‘I win.’ I don’t say nothing. ‘It’s a big one. I win.’ She doesn’t believe me,” he said with a laugh.

Wisely, the first thing he did was put his name on the ticket and then put it into a safety deposit box. Then he let life return to normal while he waited and considered his options. He knew that there would likely be some changes and he wanted everyone to be prepared.

He said that he intends to first pay off his mortgage and other debts, then possibly take his family on a vacation. Truong doesn’t want his kids to be spoiled and still intends to raise them to learn the value of working for a living.

After that, he knows that he will still feel the plants and flowers calling to him. He said that he still feels young and strong.

“I’ll take a lot of time for my family and still to be working after this is done. I’ll go back to work,” he said.

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Truong was joined by his niece Mina and his family friend Don Bishop, who was emotional at the good fortune that has now come to Bon.

“I've known the Truong family since the '70s and I’ve admired them enormously. They’re the hardest working people you’d ever want to meet. Delightful people,” he said.

Mina added her own thoughts of joy at the unexpected windfall.

“I'm very, very happy for him. My uncle came as a boat person from Vietnam … coming here with nothing after the Vietnam War, coming here and working very hard. He worked. He's a landscaper; my dad's a landscaper. That's what they did: work and save money to buy a house and live their lives here and have a better life for their children and to play the lottery and after 30 years it finally pays off.”

Truong picked up the cheque, which included $2 because he also won on the Extra draw on that ticket as well.

“I’m still shocked right now,” he admitted, adding that he is still buying lottery tickets.

"This time Lotto Max; maybe next time 6/49," he joked.