Courtenay’s Alan Barker and Langley’s Kathleen Cook are best friends who are celebrating their $2-million win from the BC/49 draw on March 4th. (BCLC)

After 70 years as best friends, two people from Vancouver Island have another reason to celebrate — $2 million is headed their way.

Courtenay resident Alan Barker and Langley resident Kathleen Cook haven’t seen each other for months, but are hoping for a dream reunion soon to celebrate their big win from the BC/49 draw on March 4th.

The duo met in England in the 1950s and later moved to Canada with their spouses and were friends ever since.

More recently, they have been buying lottery tickets together.

“I was looking at the screen and was dumbstruck,” says Barker of the moment when he discovered the pair had won. “Even while I was walking out someone asked if it was the big winner. I still can’t believe it.”

Barker contacted Cook immediately to share the exciting news.

“I was surprised when Alan told me the winning ticket was in his hands, full of wonder and disbelief,” says Cook. “It took a long time to register.”

Barker and Cook — with the help of Barker’s grandson — claimed their $2-million prize through BCLC’s alternate prize claim process, which Barker described as “marvelous.”

On what the future will bring thanks to the life-changing prize, Barker plans to donate some winnings to the local hospital for new equipment, and may move into “posher” assisted living.

Cook says she will help her family members to make their lives easier and more convenient.

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