An engaged couple from Lake Cowichan kicked off the new year with a big win playing Lotto Max, giving them several more reasons to celebrate when they say “I do” to each other at their upcoming summer wedding.

Michele Zaharia and Mark Langton said “yes” to the Extra and matched all four numbers in the Lotto Max draw on Dec. 31st.

The ticket, with Extra numbers 6, 43, 44, 93, won the couple $500,000.

Michele, who purchased the ticket at the Duncan Walmart, was getting a new phone when she decided to check her ticket results on the BCLC Lotto! App.

“My volume was turned off and [Mark and I] checked it three or four times,” said Michele, who took a screen capture of the winning-ticket message for a keepsake.

“Shock is the best way to describe it.”

Mark had to travel for work shortly after the draw, so the couple have had some time to digest their big win. Top of the bucket list items are paying down their mortgage, buying a wedding dress, and perhaps retiring a few years earlier than expected.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” Mark said. “You don’t’ believe what you’re seeing is real.”

“But, it’s getting more real every minute,” Michele added from BCLC’s Vancouver prize-claim office.