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Million dollar mystery solved

Lisa Scott
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 06/05) - Eight months after it was announced that someone in Yellowknife was holding a $1 million lottery ticket, the lucky winner has claimed his prize.

After keeping quiet about his $1 million lottery win for eight months, Yellowknife resident Seguro Ndabene mailed his winning ticket to the Winnipeg Prize Payout office before stepping into the Sport North office for the big cheque.

Seguro Ndabene cashed in his ticket June 30, though he knew "many days" after the October 13 draw about his good fortune. "I just kept cool after the draw. I was busy and not in a rush for it," says the married father of three.

Ndabene, who has a diploma in business administration, worked and lived in Rae for the Nishi-Khon Forestry Service at the time of his win. He's since left that job, but says he'll likely work again.

With years of lotto playing under his belt, Ndabene has no advice for other players except to wait for the machines that determine the winning numbers to make a mistake.

"If I had the formula, I would be winning every week," he joked.

Random numbers

He used random numbers for the win in the October 13 Western 6/49 draw, while playing his regular set of numbers at the same time. Ndabene wouldn't disclose just how many lotto tickets he buys in a week.

"I'm glad I won something big. I got back most of my money I've invested over the years," he says.

The October win set off a fluke of fortune for the territory, with eight big winners totalling almost $1.4 million in prize money since.

"It's been quite a lucky streak that's been happening in the North," says Kathleen Polyak with the Western Canada Lottery Corporation.

This isn't the first time playing the odds in the NWT has paid off. A replacement cook from Yellowknife won $1,091,002 in the lotto 6/49 in 1989 and an administrative assistant in Inuvik won $1,000,000 in 1998.

As for what he plans to do with his money? After paying down his mortgage and other expenses, and money aside for his kid's education, Ndabene may play a little bingo.