Peter McCathie: The Lottery Winner Who Was Struck By Lightning

Most of us can’t say we’ve been struck by lightning, as the odds of that happening are 1 in 700,000. Likewise, even more of us have never won the lottery, mostly because the chances of doing so are usually much tougher. For example, the chances of winning Canada Lotto 6/49 are 1 in 13,983,816. For Peter McCathie, the lottery winner who was struck by lightning, the possibility of both events happening to him in his lifetime was 1 in 2.6 trillion. Though the forces at work were clearly against him, he still managed to come out on top against all odds.

Peter McCathie and Diane Miller Holding Oversized ChequeThe Luckiest Winner

When Canadian resident Peter McCathie survived being struck by lightning as a teenager, it was obvious that luck was on his side. Years later, in July of 2015, his luck peaked when he won $1 million in Lotto 6/49, one of Canada’s three national lotteries. He also received an additional $10,000, as he owned the Amherst Shore Country Store where he and his co-worker, Diana, purchased the ticket. While splitting lottery tickets was routine for Peter and Diana, the two never imagined they’d actually win.

How Did Peter Spend His Winnings?

During an interview with CTV, Peter expressed excitement about using some of his winnings to take his wife of over 30 years on a second honeymoon. While he didn’t discuss the other ways he planned to spend his half of the money, it’s safe to assume that he was eager to take care of his family and share his wealth with his daughter, who just may be lucky enough to win the lottery herself one day.

Hit by Lightning at Fourteen

After his big win, Peter reflected on his story of being hit by lightning when he was merely 14 years old. He was in the water securing his boat when a storm cloud appeared in the sunny skies above, and before he knew it, a lightning bolt shot through the sky and hit him. Considering there are plenty of people who aren’t lucky enough to be able to say they survived a lightning strike, even this part of Peter’s story is actually a blessing.

Strangely enough, his daughter was also struck by lightning several years ago during her time working as a guide in Manitoba. Fortunately, she survived as well.


Most lottery winners aren’t able to say that they’re lucky enough to have beaten the odds of both winning the lottery and being struck by lightning, but this isn’t the case for Peter McCathie. His story is a perfect example of how your luck can change in an instant. Obviously, being hit by lightning isn’t ideal, but being able to tell people you survived is a pretty significant accomplishment in its own way—and winning $1 million after the fact is just the cherry on top of Peter’s extraordinary circumstances.

One great lesson we can all take away from this winner’s story is that, while the odds are usually against us when playing the lottery, it’s not always hopeless—even when we seem to have the worst of luck. After all, nobody ever won the lotto by not taking a chance.

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