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A First Nations Yellowknife Grandma Just Made History With Her $55 Million Lotto Max Win

Winning $55 million is obviously a pretty big deal. Being the first person to win such a large amount in your region makes it even more important. A Lotto Max jackpot winner in Yellowknife managed to do both.

It was announced shortly after the May 1 draw that the winning ticket had been sold to someone in the Northwest Territories. Laura Tutcho has since come forward as the lucky winner to claim her prize.

"I’m just beside myself," Tutcho said in a statement to the Western Canada Lottery Corporation, "It’s so exciting and overwhelming."

Tutcho had bought her $11 quick pick ticket from a Yellowknife Reddi Mart in Yellowknife. She was the only player to hit all seven numbers in the draw, so she didn't even have to split her winnings.

She said that she checked her numbers once her granddaughter told her that someone in Yellowknife won.

"I just kept looking at the ticket, and looking back at the numbers. My granddaughter told me, 'the numbers haven’t changed, Grandma,'" Tutcho said.

She has been in touch with financial advisers to plan out what she will do with her newly won wealth.

Tutcho told CBC News that she travelled to Calgary to speak with an accountant and a lawyer about winning.

She said setting up felt like a job and left her feeling "exhausted," but that the money is invested and she set up an allowance for herself.

Upon returning to Yellowknife, she entered a mandatory 14 day self-isolation period.

She said she plans to spend it helping her immediate family.

Tutcho is a member of the Délı̨nę First Nation, and holds a  Master of Education degree in Indigenous Language Revitalization, according to a bio on the Sahtú Renewable Resources Board.

She worked as a freelance interpreter, and spent much of her career dedicated to the revitalization and preservation of her own Sahtúot’ı̨nę language.

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