He’s a three time Grammy award winner, and a recipient of the Order of Canada.
Now, Canada’s Polka King, Walter Ostanek is a millionaire.
“Right away I didn’t realize I won,” he tells AM980. “I thought a friend of mine was kind of joking around with me. He came into Marineland and he said ‘Walter, how does it feel to be a millionaire,’ and I said ‘Warren, what are you talking about?”
The 81-year-old’s name was drawn on Tuesday morning by Dream Lottery officials in London.
Even though he hasn’t picked up the cheque for $1-million quite yet, he already has a few plans for the cash.
“Half of it is going into the bank, and the other half — I have a lot of family from my wife’s side and I’ll try to look after them, maybe spend a little bit myself too, but I don’t really need anything,” he says. “But it’s still nice to win.”
Speaking with AM980, Ostanek says the windfall will also help ease some financial pressure.
“I’ve got my wife in a nursing home, she has dementia, so there’s costs no matter where you turn.”
Ostanek has been playing shows at Marineland in Niagara Falls every summer for 32 years and doesn’t plan to give up on that just yet.
“I enjoy what I do, but this is just putting a little icing on the cake, nothing’s really going to change.”