TORONTO, Sept. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - The week is off to a great start for Nicholas (Nick) A. Takticos of Hamilton, who just picked up a $30,000,000 cheque this morning at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto. He is Ontario's latest multi-millionaire following his jackpot win in the August 30, 2013 LOTTO MAX draw.
"I feel great! I'm still in shock but this is amazing," said Nick, a single, 35 year old auto industry worker.
"It is always great when OLG gets to celebrate with our lottery players and give away millions of dollars!" said Rod Phillips, OLG's President and CEO, as he presented Nick with his cheque for $30,000,000.
Nick, a regular lottery player, arrived home from a night shift at 4:20 a.m. on the morning following the draw. He scratched a couple INSTANT tickets to wind down and relax, and then got to checking his LOTTO MAX tickets on OLG.ca
"I saw that the last line of my ticket had four matching numbers. I got up at that point, thinking 'I'm so close, which of the next numbers will not match." Then I checked the next two numbers and they matched too! I got up again and paced around, until finally I checked the last number - it matched and I was a winner, but I didn't even know what the jackpot was worth!"
Nick still didn't believe his eyes, and continued to double and triple check his ticket to make sure he had the right draw date, the right game and the right numbers. "Finally, I came to terms with the idea that I had the only winning ticket for the $30 million jackpot!"
He called his mom immediately to share the news. "I asked her, 'Are you awake? Are you lying down?' And when I told her we won, she didn't believe me. She came over right away with coffee and finally believed me when she saw the ticket for herself."
Nick took his time to claim his prize. "I was in such shock. My head was spinning. I needed time to let it sink in."
He didn't take too long though to leave his job and share his good news with family and friends. "On the Tuesday morning following the draw, I called my boss and retired. The next day I went in to work and made an announcement before the shift began to let all my coworkers know about my big win. They were all so congratulatory and happy for me!"
Nick has no immediate plans for his winnings, though he calls the money a "family blessing." He wants to take some time to think about what his future plans are.
"There is no manual or guide to follow or tell you what steps to take when you come into this huge, life-changing amount of money. I still need to wrap my head around it. It's like there were all these doors closed to me on the Thursday before the draw, and suddenly, all those doors are now open! There are fun times ahead though!"
Nick isn't sure if he'll stay put in Hamilton but says that's where his family is located so he'll always have ties. He has another reason to stay close to the city. "I'm a huge Hamilton Tiger Cats fan - I go to almost every game. Though now maybe I'll get season's tickets, or even better, a private box!"
Nick also plans to retire from playing the lottery. "I've cashed in on all my luck. It's time for someone else to win."
The winning ticket was purchased at Royal Variety and Video on Whitney Avenue in Hamilton.
Since its launch in September 2009, Ontario LOTTO MAX players have won over $1.8 billion in prizes, including 30 jackpot wins and 169 winning MAXMILLIONS tickets from all across the province.
Friday's LOTTO MAX jackpot is an estimated $10 million.
OLG is a provincial agency responsible for province-wide lottery games and gaming facilities. Since 1975, OLG lotteries, Casinos, Slots, and Resort Casinos have generated more than $36 billion for the benefit of the Province of Ontario. Proceeds from OLG's operations help support Ontario's hospitals, amateur sport through the QUEST FOR GOLD program, recreational and cultural activities, communities, provincial priority programs such as health care and education, and local and provincial charities.
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Image with caption: "OLG's President and CEO Rod Phillips presents Hamilton resident Nicholas Takticos with a cheque for $30,000,000 at the OLG Prize Centre Monday. Nicholas won the August 30, 2013 LOTTO MAX jackpot. (CNW Group/OLG Winners)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130916_C7491_PHOTO_EN_30887.jpg
SOURCE: OLG Winners
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