An Ontario Lottery Winner Drove 10 Hours To Claim His $65 Million Prize In Toronto
How long would you drive for $65 million? For the latest Lotto Max jackpot winner, the answer is apparently 10 hours. Canada's newest millionaire made the long haul to Toronto to claim his prize.
Hearst, Ontario resident James Wickman is the country's newest multimillionaire, and he wanted to make sure his whole family got to see him collect his big cheque.
The 67-year-old retired electrical contractor and 24 family members piled into a rented coach bus, and made the nearly half-a-day trek down to the OLG prize centre in Toronto.
There, he picked up his giant financial windfall, which he won in the September 8 draw.
This isn't the first cash prize that Wickman has received, but it is by far the biggest.
"The last time I won a big prize was in 1972 – $5,000 in a gas station contest," he said in a press release from OLG, "Back then $5,000 was big money, but nothing compared to hitting a $65 million jackpot. Wow!"
Wickman heard the news that someone in the Timiskaming-Cochrane area was holding the winning ticket while he was driving.
Thinking he might be the winner, he headed home and checked his ticket using the OLG app. That's when he found out that he was $65 million richer.
"I showed my wife the message on the app, but she couldn't believe it and thought it was an error," Wickman said.
He went to a store with one of his daughters to have his ticket checked in person. When he heard the "bells and whistles" from the machine, he knew it was true.
Unlike some lottery players, Wickman doesn't have a specific set of numbers that he always plays, saying that he gets a Quick Pick ticket with a random set.
The lucky winner plans to set up trust funds for his 11 grandchildren (and also the yet-to-be-born twelfth one).
However, he remains unsure of how he is going to spend his remaining millions, though he has advisors helping him decide.