It just might have been Sydney's parting gift.
The poodle and companion of Squamish resident Gary Golaiy died on Jan. 4, 2013. From the date, Golaiy extracted the numbers he used on his winning Lotto 6/49 ticket.
“It was the third time I played them,” the 58-year-old told the Chief on Monday, Jan. 21.
The day, before Golaiy walked from his home at Spiral Trailer Court to the Husky Gas Station on Garibaldi Way to pick up the Lotto numbers. When he got back home, he could believe his eyes.
“I had to look at it four times,” Golaiy said.
In 1986, Golaiy suffered a head injury in a motor vehicle accident. Since then, he's been on disability insurance. The win is definitely a life changer, he said, but so far he has no big plans. He's going to leave the money in the bank until he decides what he'll do with it.
“I'm letting it sink in,” he said. “I really don't know, my mind is completely blank.”
Everybody dreams of winning millions, Golaiy said, but when it happens to you it takes a while to hit home. When Golaiy told his three brothers about the win, they didn't immediately believe him.
“I still don't even know what to think,” Golaiy said.
One thing is for sure. Golaiy plans to get a new poodle. And just like Sydney, this one will also be spoiled rotten, he joked.
This isn't the first big Lotto win in Squamish. Two years ago, Brackendale resident Marlene Everett snagged $3.4 million. Everett and her husband, Wilfred, had lived in the same home in Brackendale since 1976. They did some renovations to their house in 1991-'92 after Wilfred suffered a workplace injury. The couple planned to do some more renovations with their winnings, Everett told The Chief at the time.
“I want some things changed, so we'll work on that slowly,” Everett said.