The largest lottery payout in one day was issued to two winners in Ontario.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. handed out two prizes totalling $120 million in Toronto. John Henry, a grandfather from Mississauga, Ont., won a $60-million jackpot in a December draw.
Henry, a married father and grandfather, said he went for his usual morning walk in Boxing Day, then returned home and check his numbers on the OLG website. “LOTTO MAX is the only lottery I play and when the jackpot gets big, I buy a few extra tickets. My numbers are always quick picks,” he said.
As his numbers matched more and more of the online numbers, “I circled every single one then blurted out a few choice words that I won’t repeat,” he laughed.
But the holiday weekend proved to be a problem. “I had the winning $60 million ticket but all the banks were closed so I couldn’t put it into my safety deposit box until the following Tuesday! The darn thing felt like a hot potato.”
He took two months to come forward, he said, to get his affairs in order and make plans for the future. “There are certain causes my wife and I believe in and are happy to support including children’s health, children’s sports and mental health initiatives,” he noted.
As for himself? He’s always wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby.
Joan Patterson, a rancher from Desboro, Ont., won a $60-million jackpot in the Feb. 5 Lotto Max draw.
“I bought my ticket then went on holiday and never gave it a thought,” Patterson said Wednesday. It wasn’t until 12 days later that she check the ticket. In fact, she had joked to her husband Jim that “I’m going to go and see about my $60 million ticket.”
After finishing their coffee at a mall, Patterson took her ticket to a kiosk.
“I saw the words ‘big winner’ and just stared at all those zeros. I whispered to myself – I DID win it. The mall was pretty quiet so I handed the ticket to the girl at the counter. When she saw the prize amount, her eyes widened and she put her hands up to her mouth. I leaned over the counter and told her – please don’t say a word.”
Patterson, who runs a ranch with her husband, said it was back to work after that: there were animals to feed (five horses, three miniature donkeys named Rose, Daphne and Benjamin, plus Penny the mule, three dogs and two cats). That, and her husband thought she was kidding.
That is, “until he saw the look on my face,” she said. “Later at home, we laughed and hugged then went back to work.”
Next, Patterson plans to re-fence the ranch and buy a silver Corvette convertible. Jim wants “an RV with all the bells and whistles so we can head out on our next great adventure – maybe a trip west and go where other cowboys go.”
Both winners were handed giant cheques and expressed their disbelief at their good luck.
This is a corrected story. A previous version said the winner of Canada’s largest jackpot would be revealed Wednesday.