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There are a lot of hard-working people who win the lottery – just like this guy.

From, June 20, 2017

Lottery windfall a boost for hard-working Oshawa cabbie

DURHAM — This is the story of the hard-working Oshawa taxi driver whose life was changed by a decision to spend $5.

That’s the amount Jeff Henderson handed over one day last December, when he decided to buy a Bingo scratch ticket at the Courtice Daisy Mart he visited each day. It immediately yielded a win of $100,000, money the 38-year-old Henderson used to pay off his debts, put a down payment on a house and, maybe most important of all, pay a surprise visit to a little girl at Christmas time.

But the story begins before Dec. 7. As Henderson says: “Things come in threes.”

Thing Number One occurred a couple weeks before that, when Henderson went to play bingo at a hall in Scarborough. To his delight, he won $2,500.

“I’m like, awesome, right?” he said.

Then came the first weekend of December. Henderson, a regular Pro Line player, picked well, converting a $3 ticket into a $2,071 jackpot.

On Monday, Dec. 5, Henderson was at the OLG office in Toronto to pick up his cheque; he saw other winners being given tags and escorted off to another area. He asked an OLG staffer: What’s the deal with the tags?

Turns out they were players who’d won over $10,000, which meant they got their pictures taken, holding their big novelty cheques and all.

“I told her, I’m going to be in that line,” Henderson said. “And I’m gonna buy you lunch.”

Two days later Henderson hopped into his Dodge Ram pickup, on which he owed more than $30,000 and drove to the Daisy Mart. He bought a few items and, as an afterthought, that $5 Bingo scratch ticket. He got back in the truck and dropped the ticket on the seat.

“Hope that’s a winner,” he mused.

Back home at his parents’ house, Henderson started playing the ticket.

“I’m scratching away,” he said. “I got one line, then two lines. I thought, maybe I’ll double my money. Then I had four corners and I thought, something’s going on here.”

More numbers were revealed. They matched the numbers on the card’s playing grid. With one number left to be uncovered, Henderson saw he had one spot on the card — G 58 — that would result in him completing an entire outer square.

He scratched.

“And G 58 came up,” he said.

Now something was really going on. Henderson called to his mother and had her come and call out the numbers once more so he could confirm them.

“Now I’m screaming,” he said. “I thought maybe I’d won $500.”

Back to the truck went Henderson, intent on returning to the store to check on his winnings. He thought to scan the back of the ticket, and realized what the payout for a full outer square was. By the time he got back to the store he was bounding about and shouting.

“I ran in and said, I won $100,000!”

The video from the store is priceless. It shows Henderson scratching the ticket to reveal the bar code, signing it, and then taking a few steps to the electronic scanner. There’s a moment, then, well, pandemonium.

“It came up $100,000,” said Henderson. “And that’s when I did my foolish dance there, and nearly knocked my mom down.”

A giddy, hopping Henderson burst from the store and ran to the nearby Wimpy’s Diner, where he’s a regular at breakfast. He broadcast news of his good fortune.

“Apparently I grabbed the waitress and spun her around,” he said. “Then I heard my mom screaming my name. OLG was on the phone at the store. They wanted to talk to me.”

Henderson’s chat with the OLG people was brief. Hang on, he said, I’ll be right there. And back to Toronto he went.

Upon arrival he saw the woman from two days earlier, when he vowed he’d return for the Big Winner Treatment.

“I said, remember me?”

She did, of course. (And no, Henderson did not buy her lunch, as rules prohibit that.)

Henderson quickly made plans for his windfall. The day after he got his cheque from OLG, he paid off his truck. He gave his parents some money. And soon thereafter, he put down $30,000 on a house in Shannonville.

He realizes his choices leaned toward the pragmatic, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“This money just settled everything down,” he said. “Money really stresses me out.”

The best expenditure, however, was closest to the heart. Henderson used some of that dough to travel to Newfoundland, where his nine-year-old daughter lives. He surprised her with a visit for Christmas, a gift neither of them is likely ever to forget.

Cellphone video shows the child, eyes widening as she sees him. “Daddy?” she says, then, “DADDY!” and off she dashes, arms outstretched, into his embrace.

Henderson is featured in a commercial that’s part of a new OLG ad campaign about past winners and how their fortunate wins have helped them out. He has no problem taking part in the ad, or talking with the media. He knows a Good News Story when he sees one.

“It’s good to hear: You know what? The cab driver in Oshawa won $100,000,” he said.

“I work hard for what I have. And sometimes, people like me do win.”


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