TORONTO, June 11, 2014 /CNW/ - A group of 26 current and former co-workers from Ottawa are in stunned disbelief after learning their ticket had all seven winning numbers for the June 6, 2014 LOTTO MAX draw.
Yesterday, the group came to the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto to collect the LOTTO MAX jackpot worth $32,685,304.80. This also includes an additional $2.00 for winning an ENCORE prize.
The lottery winners are from a Canada Revenue Agency office in Ottawa. Many of them currently work together, and there are some who have since retired from the office, but continue to contribute to the group lottery play.
Group captain, Philippe Bussière, who has been overseeing the collecting and purchasing of the tickets for about six years, said he is overwhelmed by the win, "It's been a crazy weekend of talking to the group, convincing them this win was not a joke. I heard a lot of joyous screaming on the phone."
While having photocopies of the ticket, Philippe realized the real ticket was in a coffee mug on his desk. So he made a special trip to the office to ensure the ticket was put in a safer place.
While Philippe is in charge of buying the tickets, another member of the group, Francine Moore, volunteered to check the tickets after each draw. When she saw that they had matched all seven numbers, she had her husband double check them. "When he confirmed the numbers, I was so excited that I wanted to start calling people but didn't have anyone's number and couldn't remember anyone's number," said Francine. "I was able to call a co-worker who was in the bath tub and didn't want to take the call. I finally convinced her to take the call and when she heard the news, she was in shock."
It took about 24 hours to contact all members of the group who are between 27 and 63 years old.
Many of them are still not sure what they will do with their share of the jackpot but most said this money will provide them with financial security. A few said they will be taking their families on some very special vacations.
Lise Lafortune summed up the sentiment of the group, "This is the best journey ever for us. We are like a family at work and this win is a wonderful treat."
Office lottery groups are very popular and can be complex to manage. As a group captain, Philippe has this advice to make sure the group runs smoothly, "You have to be very organized, make plenty of photo copies of the tickets and the player list. Also, I constantly remind those on the list that if you don't pay, you don't play."
A complete list of guidelines for group lottery play is on OLG.ca.
The members of this winning group are:
Philippe Bussière – Nepean, Ontario
Angela Scaffidi Argentina – Nepean, Ontario
Anik Wilson – Gloucester, Ontario
Barry Paulson – Orleans, Ontario
Benoît Gratton – Gatineau, Quebec
Colin McGerray – Limoges, Ontario
David Pembroke – Orleans, Ontario
Deanna Livingston – Ottawa, Ontario
Fiona Peters – Kanata, Ontario
Francine Moore – Gatineau, Quebec
François Lalonde – Gatineau, Quebec
Hélène Bray – Orleans, Ontario
Kerry Allen – Nepean, Ontario
Kristina Dyck – Orleans, Ontario
Linda Eburne – Ottawa, Ontario
Lise Lafortune – Orleans, Ontario
Lise Monette – Gatineau, Quebec
Lucie Hamel – Val-des-Monts, Quebec
Manon Carrière – Gatineau, Quebec
Matthew Brennan – Ottawa, Ontario
Mélanie Forcier – Ottawa, Ontario
Michel Patry – Orleans, Ontario
Nathalie Lambert – Gatineau, Quebec
Simon Teather – Ottawa, Ontario
Susan Brady – Chelsea, Quebec
Suzie Vajcovec – Gloucester, Ontario
The winning ticket was purchased at International News at 269 Laurier Ave. in Ottawa.
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.
"Know your limit. Play within it."
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Image with caption: "Group of 26 co-workers from Ottawa share the $32.6 million jackpot from the June 6, 2014 LOTTO MAX draw (CNW Group/OLG Winners)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140611_C3304_PHOTO_EN_3597.jpg
SOURCE: OLG Winners
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