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Lighthouse keeper had to wait two months to collect lottery jackpot

A British Columbia man said he had to wait two months to collect his lottery jackpot because he couldn't leave the lighthouse where he works as a keeper. Photo courtesy of the BCLC
A British Columbia man said he had to wait two months to collect his lottery jackpot because he couldn't leave the lighthouse where he works as a keeper. Photo courtesy of the BCLC

Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A British Columbia man said he had to wait two months to collect his lottery jackpot of over $700,000 because he couldn't get leave from his job as a lighthouse keeper.

Ivan Dubinsky told the British Columbia Lottery Corp. he buys his tickets online because he has to be present at the lighthouse near Port Hardy to perform duties including keeping the lighthouse grounds and sending weather reports to marine vessels and aircraft.

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"It's difficult to buy lottery tickets when you're at the lighthouse all the time," Dubinsky said. "You have to be granted leave, and there's not too many lighthouse keepers available these days."

Dubinsky used the lottery's PlayNow.com website to enter the Nov. 29 Lotto 6/49 drawing and won the top prize of $764,856.37.

"When I got that e-mail, I couldn't believe my eyes, I wasn't sure whether to believe it or not," he said.

He said it was two months before he could find someone to relieve him so he could collect his prize. Dubinsky said his winnings will allow him to spend less time in lighthouses.

"I'll slowly begin the retirement process, give some of my winnings to my brothers and sisters and possibly buy a home in the north part of Vancouver Island," he said. "Though I may still want to be a relief lighthouse keeper."

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