THUNDER BAY – Louis and Jo-Anne Chikoski of Thunder Bay still think they are dreaming after they matched all seven numbers for the March 23, 2012 LOTTO MAX draw. But the reality is slowly sinking in, after they were presented with a cheque for $50 million at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto.
“It is always great when we get to celebrate a $50 million LOTTO MAX jackpot win,” said Wendy Montgomery, OLG’s Vice President of Lottery Marketing and Sales as she handed the cheque to the couple. “Louis and Jo-Anne are part of a winning streak in Ontario. Since December 31, 2010, every $50 million LOTTO MAX jackpot – that’s 6 of them -has been won in Ontario.”
Louis, 56, and Jo-Anne, 54, are long-time, regular lottery players. They used to have their favorite numbers but this time chose to play using QUICK PICK.
They waited to check their numbers for a few days because rumours were quickly spreading around Thunder Bay that some one else was claiming to be the winner. Louis and Jo-Anne thought even if they weren’t the jackpot winners, there were still many more prizes to win, so they checked their tickets at home.
“After checking my numbers on-line and saw that we matched all seven numbers, I couldn’t believe it,” said Louis. “I then called the OLG Support Centre to ask them to read me the numbers and then they told me to go to a retailer to validate. When I did that the bells and whistles went off and I almost fainted, literally.”
“When I saw the ticket receipt come out of the lottery terminal and it had the $50 million written on the top of it, I was stunned,” said Jo-Anne.
The couple does not have any immediate plans on how to spend the windfall, but will take a bit of time to absorb this news and get some advice.
“We want to catch our breath and talk to financial advisors and family about what to do with this life-changing amount of money,” said Louis.
One this is for certain, Louis who has been working at local paper mills for 40 years, and was planning on retiring this fall even before he learned of the jackpot win, says there are no more worries for he and his wife.
The winning ticket was purchased and validated at the Good Luck Lottery Shoppe on Arthur Street in Thunder Bay.