Bookkeeper stored winning lottery ticket worth $55M in office drawer

Apr 4 2023, 8:09 pm

As William Scott Gurney finished helping his clients with their taxes, he found himself conflicted whenever they’d say, “See you next year!” That’s because in his office drawer was a winning lottery ticket that would change his life.

“It was getting harder and harder to keep it a secret,” he said.

A Sidney, Victoria, resident, Gurney works as a bookkeeper and runs his own business. And one day, he had stopped to shop at a supermarket on Beacon Avenue.

“I stopped for groceries at Save-On-Foods, [then I] stopped at customer service and bought $20 worth [of] tickets,” recalled the BC resident.

The next morning, he found out that someone had won the Lotto Max jackpot. So he pulled up the app to check his ticket.

BC Lotto/Facebook

He had just won $55 million.

Needless to say, it didn’t turn out to be the most productive day for Gurney.

“I didn’t do much the whole day. I kinda just stared at the ticket and did a little bit of daydreaming,” he admitted while at the ceremony to accept his big cheque. “From that point on, I tried to imagine what it would be like.”

He had called his assistant over to check the results on his phone. She had a look, then walked away — she thought he had won $55,000. But when she realized how much he had won, Gurney said that they “couldn’t do anything all day after.”

He then put the ticket in an office drawer and put a lock on it.

Gurney said his clients are also his friends and have been with him for decades, and they were overjoyed to find out that he had won. Although he won’t be returning for another tax season, he will be bringing in someone else to look after his clients.

As for what he plans to do with his money, he said that depends on the economy.

“[I’ll] see where we end up in the economy by the end of summer before I make any real big plans,” said Gurney. “I’ll park it for a while, get some interest.”

For now, he’ll take some time to decide on what he plans to do next.

He said he’ll be using the money to help his family and buy a home on Vancouver Island — preferably one with a dock because he loves crabbing. He also wants to travel and buy a vacation home.

“It’s life-altering,” he said. “It just doesn’t seem real.”

Irish Mae SilvestreIrish Mae Silvestre

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