June 20, 2013 – The five women who keep the Snack Shack in Kentville, Nova Scotia running each day were hard at work this morning, despite learning they’d won an Atlantic Lottery Lotto 6/49 jackpot just over $15 million.
The new Canadian multi-millionaires are Wafaa Toulany, JoAnne Gillis, Mary Rhynold, Stephanie Dunham, and Valerie Archer, who say they’ve been playing together for several years.
The group, all between the ages of 45 and 58, told CTV news that they’ve played the same numbers every time they bought tickets, and this is their first big win.
Toulany’s husband Sami is the owner of the Snack Shack, and he said he though something bad had happened when his wife called him early this morning.
“She said ‘hurry, hurry’… I came right over and she said ‘we won the draw,’ and then she started shaking and crying,” Sami said.
“I’m just hoping the girls don’t all quit work,” he added.
The Toulanys said they’d likely sell the diner now that they have a small fortune in the bank, but all the employees say they’ll keep working until the Snack Shack sells.
Mary Rhynold has cooked at the Snack Shack for the past 14 years, and said “I’m still shock, and I just want to go home.”
But she wasn’t in a rush to leave, saying she wouldn’t “leave them in a lurch”.
Rhynold told the Herald News that she’s living in a small basement apartment now, so she plans to buy a small home and a new car with her share of the jackpot, but has no other plans.
“I’m just going to bank the money. I don’t travel, I don’t smoke, and I don’t drink, so that’s it,” she said.
The announcement of the group’s win was met with some skepticism, because they bought their $15,222,777 ticket at the Snack Shack.
But a spokeswoman for the Atlantic Lottery told the Herald that the prize confirmation process is “very strong, and in line with industry practices.”