Eyes On The Prize: Canadian Lottery Winner’s $5 Million Misread Earns Him Endless Supply Of Reading Glasses

Eric Raskin

norman stretch lotto 649 winner

What do you buy for the man who has it all?

If that man is Norman Stretch of Alberta, Canada, who recently won $5 million (CAD) playing the lottery, the answer is reading glasses, more reading glasses, plus an additional pair of reading glasses.

In one of the more charming lotto winner stories of recent vintage, Stretch misread the amount he’d won in the April 13 LOTTO 6/49 draw because he didn’t have his reading glasses on and couldn’t find them. And he wasn’t merely off by a few bucks.

Stretch initially believed he’d won a tidy $5,000, as the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) shared in a press release.

“I called my friend to show him,” Stretch explained, “and he said, ‘Check again with your glasses on, dummy!’”

With improved vision, the number looked a whole lot better: $5,000,004.

I can see clearly now …

It’s the kind of mistake Stretch isn’t likely to make again anytime soon, because one pal of his responded to Stretch’s amazing good fortune by buying him the one gift he apparently needs.

“My buddy just bought me 10 new pairs of reading glasses,” Stretch told the WCLC. “I keep finding them everywhere. I can’t stop laughing!”

A pair of reading glasses generally costs about $10 at Wal-Mart, so, now that we know Stretch has been spared an expense of about $100, what does he instead plan to spend the money on?

He says he won’t be making major lifestyle changes or buying a big new house.

“I just realized, I’ve lived in Alberta my whole life and I’ve never been skiing,” he said. “I think it’s time to try some new things; I might take up surfing!” 

For those curious about Stretch’s lucky numbers, he had a perfect six-for-six match with 11, 17, 21, 27, 41, and 44.

The LOTTO 6/49 draw takes place every Wednesday and Saturday. Odds of matching all six balls are 1-in-13,983,816.