ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Gordon Collins didn't bust out in a happy dance in Placentia, N.L., when he realized he'd won the biggest lottery jackpot in provincial history.
The 69-year-old pharmacist calmly tucked the $30-million Lotto Max ticket into his pocket and went on filling prescriptions at the local drug store where he worked part-time.
"I had obligations," he explained Thursday as the massive cheque was presented in St. John's. "And after 40 years, old habits die hard."
Those habits and just about everything else are about to change for Collins and his wife, Betty, 65.
She had urged him to check the numbers on the $5 Instapik ticket he bought at the Lawtons Drugs store during one of his shifts, the day of the Jan. 25 draw. People around Atlantic Canada were buzzing as the top prize went unclaimed for six days before Collins discovered his big win on Jan. 31.
His wife can finally buy the new Buick she has wanted, they're planning a trip to visit family and friends in Ontario and he talks of heading to Florida or Arizona to catch some Major League Baseball spring training games.
They can do whatever they want. It's a feeling that's still sinking in, Collins said.
"Everyone has that conversation: 'If I won the lottery, I'd do this and I'd do that.' We are really faced with that now.
"My biggest concern is that we can no longer go back to our old lifestyle, which was a very rich, fulfilling, lovely lifestyle. So I mean, there's got to be a new normal and what that's going to be, I don't know.
"Hopefully I'm going to make a lot of people happy."
His wife, an avid curler and bridge player, said she has mixed emotions about the sudden reality of so much wealth.
"It's just that sometimes you get very nervous. What's going to happen? And then you start crying," she said with a wary smile. "It's not sad, it's a happy cry, really, but (it's) overwhelming."
Her husband laughed as he described calling their two grown sons, one in Newfoundland and one in the Toronto area, with the incredible news.
"I don't know what the new normal is going to be," he said. "We'll just have to deal with it the best we can.
"One day at a time."
Placentia Mayor Bob Hogan, who has known the family for years, said the lottery win is the talk of the town. He said Gordon Collins, a local pharmacist since 1974, is well liked and respected along with his wife as the kind of people who are always willing to help out with a good cause.
"I'm overwhelmed by it and I'm very excited for Gordon and Betty. If there was ever a couple that deserved it, you know, they do. They're a fine family. They've reared good kids, they did their bit."
The town will be looking for another pharmacist. Gordon Collins said he's now officially retired.
Woman's Friend Steals Winning Scratch-Off
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Man Wins Lotto, Bails Himself Out Of Jail
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Woman 'Hides' Winning Ticket At McDonald's
Mirlande Wilson, a McDonald's employee in Baltimore, claimed she <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/02/mirlande-wilson-maryland-mcdonalds-worker_n_1396943.html" target="_hplink">had won the record-high $656 million Mega Millions jackpot </a>and that she <a href="http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/what_mega_mess_wHA9HVdfxA1VDSqWn58KtJ" target="_hplink">was not going to share her winnings</a> with co-workers, who alleged that Wilson was a part of a workplace lottery pool. Wilson announced that she had <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/04/marlinde-wilson-mega-millions-winner-ticket-mcdonalds_n_1402892.html" target="_hplink">hid the winning ticket at a McDonald's</a> and subsequently <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/06/mirlande-wilson-mega-millions-mcdonalds_n_1408105.html" target="_hplink">claimed to have lost the ticket</a>. In the end, it was revealed<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/10/maryland-mega-millions-winner_n_1414857.html" target="_hplink"> Wilson never even had the winning ticket</a>.
Geniuses Outsmart Massachusetts Cash WinFall
A group including MIT undergraduates and a biomedical researcher <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/02/massachusetts-cash-winfall-lottery_n_1729416.html" target="_hplink">discovered a loophole in the Cash WinFall game</a> that netted them nearly $48 million. Apparently, lottery officials knew about the scam since at least 2010, but did nothing about it because it generated $16 million in revenue for the state.
Lotto Winner Found Million Dollar Ticket While Cleaning Out Desk
Retired hospice chaplain Ron Yurcus <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/15/ron-yurcus-glen-ellyn-lot_n_2139308.html">stumbled across a million-dollar miracle when he found a winning lottery ticket while cleaning out his desk</a> in November 2012. He had purchased the Powerball ticket from a BP gas station two months earlier.
Controversy Over Record Mega Millions Jackpot
After <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/06/mirlande-wilson-mega-millions-mcdonalds_n_1408105.html" target="_hplink">McDonald's employee Mirlande Wilson</a> falsely claimed she won Mega Millions' record $656 million jackpot, three <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/10/maryland-mega-millions-winner_n_1414857.html?ref=money#s785675&title=Undocumented_Immigrant_Awarded" target="_hplink">Maryland school teachers</a> stepped forward to claim their share of the prize.
New York Brothers Charged With Scamming $5 Million Lottery Ticket
Two brothers from central New York who <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/13/andy-and-nayel-ashkar-lottery-scam_n_2123886.html">claimed a $5 million lottery ticket sold at their family's store were accused in November 2012 of scamming the winning ticket from a customer.</a> Andy Ashkar, 34, and Nayel Ashkar, 36, are charged with second-degree attempted grand larceny and fourth-degree conspiracy.
Chicago Man Wins New Jersey Lottery While Cleaning Up After Hurricane Sandy
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Homeless Man Wins $200,000 Lottery Prize
A homeless man in Greenville, S.C. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/19/homeless-man-wins-lottery-greenville_n_1989771.html">won $200,000 from a scratch-off lottery game</a> in October 2012.
Teen Cancer Survivor Wins Mega Millions Lottery
Nicholas Ruth, a 19-year-old cancer survivor, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/26/nicholas-ruth-teen-cancer-survivor-mega-millions-lottery-video_n_1916132.html">matched five of the six numbers in the state's Mega Millions lottery</a>, earning himself a second-tier prize of $250,000 in September 2012. After taxes, Ruth will have about $165,000 to spend and plans to donate some of his money back to the organizations that helped him with his leukemia.
Friends Win Mega Millions Jackpot After Playing Together For 25 Years
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Clerk Steals Winning Ticket From Great-Grandma
A store clerk in England tried to turn in 77-year-old Maureen Holt's winning lottery ticket himself after <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/02/lottery-ticket-stolen-from-great-grandmother_n_1733871.html" target="_hplink">telling her it was a losing ticket</a>.
Teen Finds Ticket In Messy Bedroom
Ryan Kitching, a Scottish teenager,<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/04/ryan-kitching-teenage-winning-lottery-tickert-clean-room_n_1319413.html" target="_hplink"> found a winning lottery ticket hiding in his bedroom</a> after his mother told him to clean his room. The ticket is worth more than $80,000.
Chicago Couple Keeping Millions Secret
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Connecticut Money Managers Win Big Jackpot
Greg Skidmore, Brandon Lacoff and Tim Davidson, who work at an asset management firm in Greenwich, one of the most affluent towns in America, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/29/254-million-jackpot-connecticut-money-managers_n_1119321.html">came forward as lottery winners in 2011</a>. Their lawyer said they formed a trust to manage the money after Davidson bought the $1 winning ticket at a Stamford gas station.
Lotto Winner Continued To Collect Food Stamps
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Undocumented Immigrant Awarded Lotto Prize After Lawsuit
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Iowa Lottery Winner Claims $16.5 Million Prize At Last Minute
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