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2012-03-24 at 10:29

$50M local winner?

Lotto Max tickets can be seen in this Tbnewswatch.com photo on March 24, 2012.
Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch.com
Lotto Max tickets can be seen in this Tbnewswatch.com photo on March 24, 2012.
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By Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch.com

No one has yet to come forward to claim the largest lottery win in Thunder Bay history.

Officials with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming announced the winner numbers for Friday night’s Lotto Max draw and found the big $50 million prized ticket was bought in Thunder Bay. As of Saturday afternoon, no one has come forward to claim the prize.

The winning numbers (not official) are 06-18-21-23-24-32-48.

OLG Spokeswoman Dita Kuhtey said the winner or winners have up to a year to come forward to claim their prize. From there they will have to come to Toronto to verify that they are the winners.

“$50 million is definitely the highest for Thunder Bay,” Kuhtey said in a phone interview with Tbnewswatch.com.

“Lotto Max was launched in 2009 and there has been no $50 million in Thunder Bay. It is a big win. The review process includes where they purchased the ticket as well as confirming the identity of the ticket holder. It is really just to make sure the right prize is going to the right person.”

She said the retailer that sold the ticket will receive a fixed sum of money. The retailer will receive $1,000 for the jackpot and $100 for each week the jackpot rolls over.

She said the total amount will be $1,500 and added they won’t know where the ticket was purchased until the ticket is validated.

But while the prize remains unclaimed, some residents told Tbnewswatch.com what they would do with that amount of money.

Taisha Rose said she never plays the lottery because she never wins but if she did, she would use the money to pay off all her bills.
“$50 million would go toward all my rent, pay off all my bills that I owe money to and the save it,” Rose said.

Having heard the winning ticket was in Thunder Bay, she said she may play the lottery but only once and a while.

Brian Arnold, a 29-year-old carpenter, said he would retire and travel with his friends.

“The first thing I said I would do is get a private jet at the airport and round up all my friends and go somewhere which we would decide last minute,” Arnold said. “I play the lottery occasionally. My dad always called it the dummy tax so I don’t want to fall into that category but it is too tempting sometimes.”

Leslie, who did not feel comfortable giving her last name, said she would give the entire amount away to one of her favourite charities the Salvation Army. She said the Cumberland Street facility was in dire need of repairs and the money would be going to a good cause.

“I would ask (the Salvation Army) if they wanted a new building because the one on Cumberland is falling down and decrepit,” Leslie said. “What are you going to do with that money? It’s corruption. I truly believe that.”

Yvon Gaujean shared Leslie’s opinion that whoever claims the money needs to be careful. He said his father won the lottery twice about 15 years ago and it changed him for the worse.

But whatever happens, Gaujean said the person who wins needs to stay grounded.

“Just be yourself,” Gaujean said. “Money is an evil thing that we need to survive. Stay grounded and don’t become somebody else.”

Fourteen MaxMillions prizes of $1-million each were also up for grabs in the draw, and there are four winning tickets.

Two winning MaxMillions tickets were sold in British Columbia, one in Quebec, and one on the prairies.

With files from the Canadian Press

Follow Jeff Labine on Twitter @Labine_reporter


 

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