A group of five winners from Ottawa have claimed the Lotto Max jackpot from the July 13 draw and collected their winnings Thursday at the OLG prize centre in Toronto.
The group members are:
Bryan Redman of OttawaChristopher Beazley of Carleton PlaceGilles Dionne of GatineauNorman MacDonald of GatineauStephane Dionne of Embrun
“We’ve always been travellers and adventure seekers but this win makes almost anything possible. It’s not just that we can travel more – it’s that we can travel anywhere in the world!” said Beazley, one of the members of a group of five winners from the Ottawa area, who won the $60 million jackpot from the draw on July 13.
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According to OLG, the group began playing lottery over ten years ago when they all worked together in IT for the federal government. Over the years they’ve formed a close bond, travelling together. “Playing the lottery became a way to keep in regular touch with each other when some of us moved on to other jobs,” shared group member Norman.
The group members, all married men with nine children between them, take turns each week buying their ticket. Depending on who’s turn it is to buy the ticket, they purchase their ticket in Ontario and other times in nearby Quebec.
“It was my week to purchase a ticket. I almost forgot but remembered to pick one up last Friday when I was nearly out of gas,” explained Redman. “I checked our ticket the next morning on the OLG app and was stunned when I saw $60 million on the screen. I scanned it again immediately because I just couldn’t believe it.”
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Redman drove to the closest lottery retailer to check his ticket. “When the prize amount was confirmed, I knew it was time to spread the news to the group. I got back in my car, locked the door and started dialing numbers, crying and shaking – but no one was answering their phones!” he said.
Bryan finally reached group member Gilles, “I was half asleep when I answered the phone and all I heard was Bryan raving ‘We did it! We did it!’ When I realized he was saying that we won the lottery, I couldn’t believe him!”
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The group decided to scan the ticket together as they had all been playing together for so long it just seemed appropriate.
“We decided to meet that evening and validate the ticket together. When the lottery terminal shut down, that’s when it all started to feel real,” said Dionne.
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According to OLG, Most group members are still unsure of whether or not they will keep their jobs – early retirement or change of career is on some of their minds.
OLG says the winning ticket was purchased at Mr. Gas on Innes Road in Orleans.