TORONTO, Nov. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - Vincent (Tony) Charlemagne may be Toronto's newest multi-millionaire, having picked up his cheque for $30,350,652.50 at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto from the August 2, 2013 LOTTO MAX draw, but he still plans to keep playing.
"I've already bought my tickets for tonight's LOTTO MAX draw." Tony laughed. "If anything, my big win has made me even more motivated to play!"
Tony's journey started last summer when he purchased a ticket for the August 2, 2013 LOTTO MAX draw. A regular LOTTO MAX and LOTTO 6/49 player, Tony checked his LOTTO MAX ticket on the following Friday when he went to purchase a ticket for that night's draw.
"I scanned my ticket on the self-checker. When I saw all the numbers, I didn't think it was real. I thought I won just a couple bucks," explained Tony. "I then asked the retailer to validate my ticket and that's when I found out - I won the jackpot!"
Tony, a self-employed contractor, was in such shock that he decided not to go to work that day but instead went home to take a shower to clear his head. Then he shared the news with family. "I called my cousin, and said 'I catch it, man!' He didn't believe me until I went over to show him the ticket."
The two men then sat back, celebrated with a couple drinks and waited for the rest of the family to arrive so they could share the good news.
Tony's prize was paid after a prize claim review fully confirmed him as the winner. The winning ticket was originally signed with the first name that he has commonly used for many years although his legal first name is Vincent.
"It was a long process," admitted Tony. "However, all along I knew that I held the winning ticket so I wasn't worried. The wait has made getting my cheque today that much sweeter."
Lottery winners are reminded to always sign their tickets with their legal first names or initials to minimize any delay during the prize verification process.
Although Tony, originally from St. Lucia, has had plenty of time to think about his plans for his windfall, he has made no definite decisions yet. "My wife and I will probably buy a new house and a new car. But what I'm really looking forward to is visiting my family and friends in St. Lucia."
The winning ticket was purchased at M&D Variety on Main Street in Toronto.
Since its launch in September 2009, Ontario LOTTO MAX players have won over $1.9 billion in prizes, including 31 jackpot wins and 169 winning MAXMILLIONS tickets from all across the province.
Tonight's LOTTO MAX jackpot totals an estimated $50 million, plus there are an estimated 10 MAXMILLIONS prizes worth $1 million each up for grabs. Players can purchase tickets at authorized OLG retailers until 9 p.m. tonight.
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: "Vincent (Tony) Charlemagne of Toronto picked up his cheque for $30,350,652.50 from the August 2, 2013 LOTTO MAX draw at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto on Friday, November 29, 2013. (CNW Group/OLG Winners)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131129_C6312_PHOTO_EN_34123.jpg
SOURCE: OLG Winners
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