Lottery win bittersweet for dad
Richard Bankier has come to know tragedy and sorrow.
Adele, his wife of 18 years, passed away in December.
But, in an odd twist, Bankier has also come to know good fortune.
Last week, when the 47-year-old single father pulled into the Valleyview Chevron station for gas on his way to work, he figured he may as well get a Lotto 6/49 ticket.
It was his usual — five Quick Picks and the Extra.
It turned out to be a very good choice.
Bankier matched all four Extra numbers for the Feb. 15 draw and was $500,000 richer.
“I feel very fortunate to have this happen to me,” he told KTW from his job at NRI distribution Inc.
Bankier said he’s struggling with the highs and lows of the last few months.
“It was so bittersweet,” he said, when his number came up and he discovered he was holding a half-million dollar ticket.
“It was like ‘Why now when she’s [Adele] not here to share it with me?’ ”
Though the money won’t dull the pain left by his wife’s death, Bankier said the winnings do alleviate the financial stress in his life.
Bankier, who is a safety co-ordinator at NRI, plans to use the money to pay off the mortgage on his house and put the rest away for his son’s education.
“I’m not rich by any imagination, but I am the one thing my wife and I always strived to be, which is debt-free,” he said
“I just wish she was here to enjoy this.”
There are also plans for a much needed father-son vacation.
Bankier said the trip is an opportunity for the family to — as he sees it — “reflect on our lives, where they were and where they are going.”
The Kamloops resident said he always imagined what it would be like to win the lottery, but the circumstances of recent months made the thought impossible.
Bankier isn’t the only Kamloopsian with a lucky touch playing the Extra.
Prior to Christmas, Bonnie Marchand, a retired mother of two,
also won the Extra collecting $500,000.
Even BC Lottery Corporation officials suggested two winners so close in proximity and time is a bit unusual.
A friend told Bankier his odds of winning were about one in four million.
But, the devoted father is convinced he had some help.
“I truly believe my wife played a large role in this somehow,” he said.