Thunder Bay’s millionaire count grew by two on Friday.
Antonio (Tony) and Karen Biscardi are the latest big winners, matching six of six numbers in Wednesday’s Lotto 6/49 to earn a one-third share of the draw’s top prize.
The BIscardi’s, who collected their winnings on Friday, take home $1.079 million. The win comes on the heels of last month’s $50-million Lotto Max jackpot win by Louis and Jo-Anne Chikoski.
It was welcome news for the hard-luck couple. Karen Biscardi survived an ovarian cancer scare, finishing chemotherapy just three weeks ago, while three years ago Antonio broke his back in a car accident.
"The birth of our granddaughter was our saving grace in remaining hopeful over the past couple months,” said Karen, a salon owner. who intends to keep working. “The win came at just the right time.”
The Thunder Bay couple says it still hasn’t sunk in.
“It’s surreal right now,” Karen said, reached by phone on Friday.
Plans for the money are practical, 52-year-old Antonio added.
“We’re going to pay our mortgage off and pay our bills off and put the rest away for retirement,” he said.
Asked how close they are to retiring, their good fortune started to hit home a little, a chuckling Karen said, adding later they may set a little money aside to have a holiday.
“Obviously we can retire now,” she said.
The couple learned of their win on Thursday morning.
“My husband was going to drive to the store, but I had this feeling and I gave him the ticket and I said, ‘Check this, I want the house finished.’ And I said, Maybe we’re winners and we can get the house fixed.’
“So he went online and checked it on this website I didn’t recognize. I thought he was goofing off. And I checked it in the newspaper and the numbers matched, so we were like, ‘OK, this is real.”
The Biscardis then verified their win at the Thunder Bay Casino.
The couple bought the winning ticket at a Mac’s Convenience Store on Brown Street.