After fire destroys family home, couple plays lottery – and wins $1M jackpot

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Bill Pendergast has spent the last two years rebuilding his home, which burnt down when a wildfire raged through Fort McMurray, Alberta. Now, he is $1 million richer and able to finish restoring his family home thanks to the Atlantic Lotto. (Atlantic Lottery)

FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta – Bill Pendergast has spent the last two years rebuilding his home, which burnt down when a wildfire raged through Fort McMurray, Alberta. Now, he is $1 million richer and able to finish restoring his family home thanks to the Atlantic Lotto.

Pendergast, 50, bought the $3 Lotto 6/49 ticket earlier this month when he stopped at the local convenience store in Newfoundland and Labrador on the way to visit his ill father.

“Dad called and asked me to stop on my way back to the hospital and pick him up a cold 7-Up,” said Pendergast in a statement from the Atlantic Lottery.

He didn’t think much about the ticket he bought until the next day when he was awakened by his aunt, who was in a frenzy.

“‘Bill, did you buy a lottery ticket? Someone won a million dollars’ she told me,” he said.

He pulled out his lottery ticket, checked his numbers against the winning numbers on his phone and couldn’t believe what he saw.

“I called my wife, Carrie, in Fort McMurray and she booked a flight immediately,” Pendergast said. “This is all like a dream.”

Pendergast plans on finishing rebuilding his home and furnishing it, but he does want one special gift.

“I have always wanted a Mustang, and I will finally have one, I’m 100% sure of that.”