Captain Of US Asylum Boat Wins 6-49 Millions
As the Pacific Queen bobs at St. John’s dockside under control of Canadian border officials, the Captain of the boat that brought 204 Americans to Canada seeking “humanitarian” asylum has won the estimated $17 million 6-49 jackpot.
“I bought it with a twonie at that Esso just right over there,” said an elated Sean “Rudder” O’Rourke, pointing to the gas station and convenience store near the high school where the asylum seekers are being held. “I was just going to get a Doritos and a Bazinga power drink but they didn’t have Bazinga so I was just hangin’ lookin’ at the other Canadian power drinks when I heard this lady at the counter ask for a 6-59 fast pick or something, so I thought what the whale and bought one too.”
Lottery Canada officials confirmed that the sole winning ticket was sold in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, and reaction was swift in the small Maritime city (population 196,000).
“Fantastic,” said Mayor Dennis O’Keefe on a morning jog. “These boat people are very much in lonely legal limbo and this has sure picked up their spirits. The naysayers should just shut it and stop with the anti-American jabber.”
O’Rourke took the entire group of asylum seekers and some locals out for dinner at Red Lobster after matching his numbers when they were posted on Lottery Canada’s web site. “I thought maybe you guys have a different way of reading lottery numbers but my ipad wasn’t lying,” said the laughing seaman.
The odds of winning vary for each draw but Lottery Canada numbers show that the odds of winning this last draw were 1 in 13,983,316.
O’Rourke, a tall shaggy-haired man with a quick toothy smile, days-old facial hair, and a slight Irish accent, said he was surprised that the winnings are tax-free. “Not the way things are done in the U.S. Damn, that’s so sweet. This country is so sweet. God bless Canada.”As the group overwhelmed the Red Lobster with their numbers, the restaurant had to put out the call to local suppliers for quick delivery of more lobster and crab. “A nice problem to have,” said restaurant manager Stacy Waters, 18. “And they tipped big. Rudder winning the lottery is sure going to be good for the local economy.”
At sunrise this morning, Citizenship and Immigration (C&I) officials continued interviewing the group and RCMP were seen searching the cream-coloured Pacific Queen, its U.S. flag tangled around its flag pole. Officers left with several boxes and at least a dozen laptops but local C&I director, Nick McCook, told The Lapine and other reporters that the search was standard procedure and was not focused on anything specific. McCook had joined Rudder O’Rourke and the group at Red Lobster for dinner last night.
Also early this morning, C&I officials confirmed that the group number has dropped to 203 after one adult male was handed over to U.S. Homeland Security officials for outstanding warrents related to an Occupy Miami protest.
As Twitter discussion grows, a hand-written sign posted on a pole at the south end of the pier sometime during the night reads: “APPLY NOW FOR FREE FOOD AND LODGING!” Below it, another smaller marker-penned sheet of paper flaps in the sea breeze and reads: “Bienvenue au Canada. That’s French dude.”While St. John’s locals seem equally split on welcoming the Americans to their city and to Canada, the massive lottery win seems to have just added fuel to the debate.
“We’re sure nice people us Canadians,” summed up 42-year old, self-employed Dwayne Rather rolling up his rim at Tim Horton’s despite the fact that the contest is over. “We feed ’em, give ’em tv and wireless and passes to the indoor water slide park, and now we give ’em a boat load of money. We sure want ’em to like us, eh?”
As Rather shakes his head, a group of dozens of curious onlookers take Blackberry photos of the Pacific Queen as it bounces up and down in the wash from a fishing boat leaving the harbour, its Canadian flag snapping in the wind.
Reporting From The Lapine