KINGSTON, Jamaica – A 76-year-old retired parish council worker from Trelawny, on Tuesday took home a cheque for $117 million for winning a share of the June 16 Super Lotto.
The pensioner, identified only as W Gordon from Granville near Falmouth, was masked in a red, green and gold tam with hanging locks covering his face.
Despite his sporting locks, however, Gordon confessed that he is a devout Methodist who attends church in Falmouth and believes that God had a hand in his luck.
“I believe in God and he supplies my needs. I am thankful. I don’t plan on moving or doing anything different. I will maintain my Christian fortitude,” he told the Supreme Ventures team.
Gordon told the Jamaica Observer at the handover event Tuesday at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, that he retired from working in 1998, after being employed by parish councils, now municipal corporations, in his hometown of Falmouth, as well as in St James and Hanover.
He was not sure what he would do with his new wealth, but noted that he had bought another ticket already, in the meantime. He had said that he wanted to reach home in time that Tuesday to purchase a second ticket for that night’s draw, as he would not stop playing the game.
Gordon, who has been playing the local Lotto and the regional Super Lotto for more than 10 years, almost threw away the lucky ticket after being given the wrong results for the June 16 draw by a neighbour.
“I bought my ticket days before the draw, around the Wednesday, and I didn’t check my numbers same time,” he told the Supreme Ventures team.
“I asked someone to give me the draw numbers, but the ones he gave me were wrong, so I drove to the nearest Supreme Ventures, three miles from home, to get the numbers. When I got it, I was in bed checking it and I said to myself, ‘Oh my God, I got everything’,” he explained.
He said that since winning the windfall, he has been considering what to do with the money. But the only ideas he has come up with so far are giving some to his church and travelling.
“I like travelling. I would like to go to the Middle East and to England, but I am scared of these places, with all the violent attacks going on there. I think I will still travel, but stay within the Caribbean,” he said.
Gordon lives alone, although he has five children, all boys, aged between 57 and 27, who are all on their own.
He insisted that although he is a devout Christian, he does not think gambling is a sin.
“To each his own; we all have our own rules. I will continue buying the Lotto. I have a ticket for tonight’s draw and when I get home I am going to buy another ticket,” he said.
Asked whether there will be a celebration for him when he returns to Granville, Gordon said that he didn’t think anybody there knew yet about his luck.
“Well, I didn’t tell anybody,” he told the Observer.
He won $117 million or US$911,250 because he had bought a mini ticket valued at $200. He shared the total jackpot with another winner in Anguilla, who received the remaining $193 million with a full-priced ticket. The lucky numbers were 06,09, 11, 06, 19, with a super ball number 04.
Supreme Ventures Limited started selling the Super Lotto tickets in August, 2009. The multi-jurisdictional game is played in Jamaica, Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, Antigua, St Maarten, Paraguay, and the US Virgin Islands, for a shot at the largest lotto jackpot in the Caribbean.