A Multi-million Dollar Lost and Found!

BRAMPTON MAN CLAIMS A $50 MILLION LOTTO MAX JACKPOT AFTER LOSING, THEN FINDING, HIS TICKET

TORONTO, June 2, 2014 /CNW/ - It's been a rollercoaster of emotions for Hakeem Nosiru of Brampton, who picked up his $50,000,004 cheque this afternoon at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto with his wife, Abiola. Hakeem is Ontario's latest multi-millionaire following his jackpot win in the January 17, 2014 LOTTO MAX draw. He also won $4 for matching the first two numbers on two ENCORE plays. The prize payment ends a five month journey for Hakeem and his wife from the time they first knew they won, to losing the original ticket and then having it returned to them.

"Having lost and then found our $50 million lottery ticket has been an exciting and emotional journey. We are so excited to be here today to accept our prize," said Hakeem, a retired Canada Post employee.

"I am so pleased to award this life-changing $50 million jackpot. It is always great when OLG gets to celebrate with our lottery players and give away millions of dollars!" said Greg McKenzie, OLG's Senior Vice President of Lottery, as he presented Hakeem with his cheque for $50,000,004.

Hakeem, a regular lottery player, went to check his ticket the morning after the draw. He was surprised to see the store so busy. "Everyone was checking their tickets because the newspaper said that the winning ticket was sold in Brampton. I waited in line for the self-checker and when I scanned my ticket, I thought I won $50,004."

When he validated the ticket with the retailer, the terminal's bells and whistles went off and Hakeem found out that he was the jackpot winner! "I ran up and down the aisles of the store crying with excitement. Everyone was congratulating me and patting me on the back."

As soon as he got home, he screamed at the top of his lungs to his wife of 29 years, "We are millionaires! I just won $50 million!"

The couple decided to keep the news to themselves and Hakeem taped the ticket to his body. "We couldn't sleep. We were so excited!"

The next day, before church, he handed the ticket, validation slip and a photocopy of the ticket to his wife for safekeeping. She put them in an envelope in her purse. However, on Sunday, the day before they planned to visit the Prize Centre in Toronto to claim their big win, the ticket went missing!

"My grandchildren were playing with my purse while we were all at church….it must have somehow slipped out!" she said. "When I realized I lost the ticket, I was frantic. All I could think about was how was I going to tell Hakeem!"

The Prize Claim was put on hold due to the lost ticket and for months Hakeem and Abiola searched for it everywhere. A fellow church member came forward on April Fools' Day with the lost ticket. "We were so relieved! We handed it over to the OPP so that they could continue their investigation."

Now that the couple, originally from Nigeria and parents of four and grandparents of five, has the cheque in their hands, they are overjoyed.

"We're not extravagant people – we may purchase a new home, but nothing flashy. What we really want to do is see the world!" shared Abiola.

"We're thinking about an extended cruise and a trip around the world to see Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the islands of Bali and Hawaii," said Hakeem. 

The winning ticket was purchased at George's Convenience on Peter Robertson Boulevard in Brampton.

Since its launch in September 2009, Ontario LOTTO MAX players have won over $2.2 billion in prizes, including 34 jackpot wins and 208 winning MAXMILLIONS tickets from all across the province.

Friday's LOTTO MAX jackpot is an estimated $32 million.

OLG is a provincial agency responsible for province-wide lottery games and gaming facilities. Since 1975, OLG has provided nearly $38 billion to the Province and the people of Ontario. OLG's annual payments to the Province have helped support health care; education, research, prevention and treatment of problem gambling; amateur sport through the Quest for Gold program; and local and provincial charities.

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Image with caption: "OLG's Senior Vice President of Lottery Greg McKenzie presents Brampton resident Hakeem Nosiru and his wife Abiola with a cheque for $50,000,004 at the OLG Prize Centre Monday. Hakeem, who won the January 17, 2014 LOTTO MAX jackpot, gave the cheque a celebratory kiss just as he always does when purchasing his lottery tickets. (CNW Group/OLG Winners)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140602_C2137_PHOTO_EN_2457.jpg

SOURCE: OLG Winners

For further information: OLG Media Relations, 1.888.946.6716

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