Port Alberni Lotto 649 winner is a convicted car thief

Richard Zoet bought the winning ticket at the A-1 Convenience on Redford Street, a location that has now sold four $1-million tickets. “The numbers showed one winner in Port Alberni and I said to myself I’m the winner, I knew right there and then I was the winner,” Zoet said. He bought the ticket at A-1 Convenience on Redford Street, where incidentally they’ve now sold four $1million dollar tickets.

Store owner Jodi Rai said Zoet is a regular customer and lives in the neighbourhood. He comes here all the time, buys the lottery ticket from the store,” Rai said.

The store is happy for Zoet but not everyone is smiling about his win. That’s because Richard Zoet was convicted of stealing 35 cars in Bamfield in 2010 and 2011.

During the time of the thefts, tourists were left without a way to get home. They had parked their vehicles at the head of the West Coast Trail only to find them gone when they returned. Zoet was caught on RCMP surveillance cameras. A Port Alberni court later heard during his trial that Zoet often stole the vehicles and drove them around at night instead of one of the six cars he owned himself.

He was sentenced to 20 months in jail but not ordered to pay restitution to his victims. One of his victims was Heath Krevesky, who lived in Bamfield at the time.

“I can’t believe this. Karma clearly does not exist,” Krevesky said.

He did win $5,000 from Zoet in small claims court but said the lottery winner should now be made to pay ICBC over $300,000 it was forced to pay out to those whose vehicles were stolen. But Zoet, who was diagnosed with severe obsessive compulsive Disorder, disagrees.

“You know I paid. I did my time, I paid for my crime and so I’m not going to pay twice,” he said at his home on Tuesday. Zoet said the whole experience put him into bankruptcy, something he just came out of on May 31, eight days before his big win. “Yeah I was obsessed with cars, that’s all there is to it.” he added.

ICBC told CHEK News it’s aware of Zoet’s win and is reviewing its options.

Cheknews.ca 

 

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