Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 01.09.11
Stanstead, Quebec


Obligatory post-lottery interview

So, Ross, tell me about winning the lottery.

Certainly. But first I have to back up a bit.

To provide some background details?

No, because you're far too close to me.

Sorry. Go ahead.

Well, the afternoon before the drawing, I had one of those fleeting thoughts that come with age, the thought that says, "This could be the thing that kills me."

Were you driving on bald tires in freezing rain?


Letting John Baird sit on your lap?

No. Full-contact snow rugby/football. I was playing with my children and nephews on the frozen front lawn of my sister-in-law's house in Ontario. My team had just scored, and I took a knee.


No, elbow. My nephew had nailed me pretty hard. I thought, one bad landing, a blow to the head, and that could be it. Or my heart, it could just stop from the exertion.

This must have been a serious game of snow rugby/football.

Not really. I'm just in terrible shape.

And that's when you decided to buy lottery tickets for everyone in the family, because life is nothing but a series of flukes, a swirl of random unfathomables amidst the chaos that could at any time turn in your favour or against?

That and my wife thought it would be fun.

So that evening...

That evening, we all gathered in the family room as one of the kids went online to retrieve the winning numbers. He started reading them out. I got one number. Then I got another, and then the numbers kept coming.

What happened next? I said, "Read those numbers again." And he did.


And they were the same as the first time he read them.

That's a good story.

Want me to tell it again?

There's no time. So you were...?

A winner.


The jackpot was $16 million for all six numbers.

And you had...?


Which amounted to...?

You know, it's funny. You'd think that if six numbers won you $16 million, four numbers would be just two decimal points down. You know, $160,000?

But that's not how it works.

That's not how it works.

So you won...



I know. In all my experience playing the lottery, I'd never won that much money.

How often do you play?

A couple of times a year; I have to be careful not to aggravate my addiction.


Lottery-terminal chimes.

So how did you react?

I was flabbergasted.

Have you ever been flabbergasted before?

Quite regularly, actually. I suffer from a genetic disorder: hyperflummoxomia.

Did you scream?

More like a girly squeak.

Once you got over the shock of winning, what did you do?

Naturally, we had to think about what we were going to do with the money and how we were going to manage all the requests.

What kind of requests?

Mostly for takeout pizza.

And did you comply?

No, I decided the money should be spent on something far more meaningful and dear to my heart?


Bulk wine.

How are you handling all the attention?

I was in Ontario, so when I cashed the ticket at the local grocery store, the terminal chimes were awesomely loud, and the machine called out, "You're a winner!" I was a little embarrassed, but at the same time I kind of liked it.

Because you were excited?

Because the cashier was kind of cute.

What have you learned from this experience?

I've learned two things. First, life is full of chances, with the odds of great jackpots and great calamities being pretty slim, so you might as well enjoy small victories and violent games with your children while you can.

And the second?

Bulk wine is never the bargain it seems.

Ross Murray's collection, You're Not Going to Eat That, Are You?, is available in Quebec in area book stores and through He can be reached at