02/08/2012 08:32 EST | Updated 04/09/2012 05:12 EDT

Steve Murphy, Atlin, B.C. Lottery Winner, Says $16 Million Lotto Max Jackpot Surreal

VANCOUVER - When Steve Murphy checked his Lotto Max ticket last Sunday at the Food Basket store in Atlin, B.C. he couldn't believe his eyes.

When it flashed up more numbers than he was used to — way, way more — he took the ticket to the cashier for further verification.

"I thought it was only about $16,000 at first," Murphy recalled in an interview Tuesday. "There was a lot of sixes in there. It was quite an ominous little ticket."

Indeed: it was worth $16.6 million. And then some.

"Sixteen million, six hundred and sixty-six thousand and six hundred and sixty-six dollars," Murphy said, recalling how he watched the numbers roll out as Food Basket clerk Leah Neilson ran the ticket through the main terminal at her cash register.

"It’s almost surreal, is this really happening," he said.

Murphy’s jackpot represents a third of the $50-million prize for last Friday’s draw. Two residents of Quebec won the other two-thirds.

The assistant mine manager at the Tulsequah Chief mine project said he’ll likely be retiring, but what the future has in store beyond a little travel he’s not sure.

He’ll probably buy or build his own house in Atlin.

He'll also help the community’s assisted living organization because it helped the Murphy family when his mom passed away in 2010, he said.