EDMONTON — Alberta officially has two more millionaires.
Bradley and Amanda Kelly stopped by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission Tuesday afternoon to pick up the winnings from the June 25 Lotto 649 draw, a cheque just shy of $18.4 million.
They've had less than a week to digest the excitement and admit it started out as disbelief.
Brad was on his way home from Lethbridge to their acreage in Lacombe County when he stopped at a Claresholm 7-11 for something to drink.
"I just had a craving for a cherry Dr. Pepper," he said when asked what made him stop that day.
He bought a ticket to go with the pop. It wasn't until later on that he found out he won.
"We just finished a week-long holiday at Ponoka Stampede," Brad said. "After that I checked my ticket. I had a stack of tickets. Went to the little general store by the village where we live. It was the first ticket that I checked at the self-check. I almost fell on my butt right there."
He said he was taken by surprise by all the flashing numbers.
"I gave it to the store clerk and I said, 'I think something's wrong with your machine. Better check it on your end,'" he said.
He told the clerk he thought "the machine is pooched" but when he realized the truth he started pacing.
"It was pretty exciting but I wasn't sure I was going to make it out of there alive or not, thought I'd have a heart attack."
He called his wife a half-hour later at work and found he wasn't the only one with initial doubts.
"She was like, 'That's nice, but I really have work to do,'" he said.
Amanda finished her shift as a vet tech and double-checked her phone to see the picture Brad had sent her.
"You never know how you're going to react when that kind of thing happens to you," she said. "I was kind of in shock."
The shock continues to set in and the Kellys, both in their 30s, have yet to decide what the long-term impact will be on their lives.
"We're not really running a schedule right now. We're just kind of enjoying it," said Amanda.
So far, paying off debts and maybe planning the honeymoon they never took are all they've considered. Brad isn't even sure he'll quit his job as a directional driller.
"I told them not to take me off the list just yet but I told them they probably wouldn't expect me back real soon," he said between massive smiles.
"We were kind of happy with the way our lives were before. I guess we don't have to worry about bills too much anymore. We were pretty happy with what we built with hard work. Now we can just enjoy it a little bit more."