Meet Brampton’s $70M man, winner of the largest lottery prize in Canadian history
A self-described “lucky guy” from Brampton has come forward as winner of largest lottery prize in Canadian history, the $70 million Lotto Max.
“I’m overwhelmed, excited, happy and shocked but mostly, I feel very, very blessed,” Adlin Lewis, 49, who works as a credit risk manager, said after accepting the prize on Tuesday.
It was just one day after the draw that Lewis found out he’d in fact won, the same morning the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) put out an alert to say the winner’s identity was still outstanding.
“While I was warming up my car, I scanned my ticket on the OLG Lottery App but I got an error message, so I tried again. And then I saw the words ‘Big Winner’ and the number 70!” he said. “I was shocked and wanted to confirm what I saw so I went online to see the winning numbers and one by one they matched!”
“I wanted to tell (my wife) in a special way — with a trip or something creative — but I couldn’t keep this news to myself, so I ended up waking her up in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday.”
Lotto Max raised the jackpot cap to $70 million last May, after a $60 million cap was set in 2015.
Adlin has been playing the lottery for the last 25 years and said he considers himself a lucky guy.
“A couple of years ago I won a car, and then more recently, I won both the first and second prizes in a workplace holiday draw,” he said. “When my colleagues found out that the winning $70 million Lotto Max ticket was sold in Brampton, they were joking at the office ‘Is Adlin here? Did Adlin call in sick today?’”
The $70 million ticket wasn’t the only jackpot ticket sold in Brampton that week. One ticket worth $1 million, and one worth just over $197,600, were also sold.
Adlin said he hopes to make some major investments following the win, and to find some time to travel with his wife. “We have a lot of options now,” he said.
“My wife has always wanted to try those VIP $100 slots in Las Vegas and now I can make that dream come true for her.”
The winning ticket was sold at George’s Convenience on Mississauga Road in Brampton. The odds of winning the main jackpot is about one in 33,294,800 per $5 play, according to the OLG.
Jan. 15, 2019 — Update: This story has been updated from a previously published version to add where the ticket was sold and what the odds are of winning the main jackpot.Self-described “lucky guy” Adlin Lewis says he feels “very, very blessed” after his LottoMax ticket paid off.
‘You go to a different section of the bank’ and other things you might not know about winning $55M
First bit of advice Laura Tutcho received upon winning Lotto Max draw: get out of town
When Laura Tutcho discovered she held a winning $55-million Lotto Max ticket, she waited a while but eventually called the lottery corporation for some hypothetical advice.
“I called the lottery people — I didn’t tell them I was a winner — I just told them, ‘What do you do if you won?'” Tutcho said.
Their response: “If you did, it’d be better if you left town and don’t tell anybody that you won big,” Tutcho said.
Tutcho, a freelance interpreter from Délı̨nę, N.W.T., was the only person to match all seven winning numbers in the Western Canada Lottery Corporation’s Lotto Max draw on May 1.
But she didn’t win on her usual numbers. She won it on what she said was an $11 Quick Pick ticket — a set of numbers randomly generated at the time of purchase. The ticket was part of what she told CBC Radio’s Trail’s End host Lawrence Nayally was the usual “hundred dollars or close to it” that she spends on a big pot.
It’s the largest prize ever won in the Northwest Territories by a magnitude of five.
Shortly after it was announced that the winning May 1 Lotto Max ticket had been bought in Yellowknife, Tutcho checked her tickets on her sister’s prompting. Tutcho was at home with her grandchildren, and after discovering her Quick Pick was a winner, she shouted out, “Oh my God, Oh my God!” so loudly her grandchildren asked her if she was OK.
But their fear that she had hurt herself turned to joy when they realized what happened. Her grandchildren jumped up and down and it was all a blur until someone hushed the celebration.
“Somebody might hear us,” Tutcho said.
Tutcho said her granddaughter later told her what happened next: Tutcho sat on the end of her bed and asked the question every lottery ticket buyer can’t help but dream of asking.
“What I’m going to do now?”
‘That number hasn’t changed’
Tutcho sat on that ticket for about a week and kept checking and rechecking the numbers, she said, until her granddaughter told her, “Grandma, that number hasn’t changed.”
That’s when she called the lottery corporation and was told to make her way to a bigger city — Tutcho was in Yellowknife at the time — for privacy reasons and to work through the process of claiming a large prize, which included some banking she wasn’t used to doing.
“When you win big — when you have lots of money — you don’t go just to the counter, you go to a different section of the bank where they look after what they call ‘wealth management,'” Tutcho said.
Tutcho went to Calgary, where she hired a lawyer and an accountant and chose a bank. She was finally able to get the ticket out of her own possession and give it to the lawyer — “It was a relief,” she said. The lawyer took care of officially verifying with the lottery corporation that Tutcho was the $55-million winner.
“I told my family members and they were beside themselves,” Tutcho said. “They didn’t believe me [at first].”
Tutcho had originally explained her extended absence to family as a fishing trip to a cabin. But even after she was the official winner, and she had told some family, they were all asked to keep the news quiet until the lottery corporation was able to make a public announcement.
On an allowance
Tutcho said there was about a month of meetings to deal with the money matters and tax questions that accompany sudden wealth.
“It’s like a job,” Tutcho said. “It was just too much. I was just exhausted.”
Tutcho’s money is now invested and she’s on what she called an allowance — “It has something to do with the taxes,” she said.
On June 1, the Western Canada Lottery Corporation posted Tutcho’s win while she was still away from Yellowknife.
Tutcho said she’s received a lot of phone calls since then, especially from the media. She said some Alberta news organizations reached out for interviews, but she turned down those requests.
“I said, ‘No… The first people that are getting interviews are going to be people from the Northwest Territories.”
Tutcho is in a mandatory 14-day COVID-19 quarantine for anyone returning to the N.W.T. from away. Her granddaughter is graduating and her grandson has a “farewell ceremony” coming up. She said she couldn’t miss either, so she had to come back.
As for her plans beyond her grandchildren’s rites of passage?
“I don’t have any,” Tutcho said. “The only thing I have is I want to go to Délı̨nę … I want to go fishing.”
“I’m pretty sure my brother-in-law would take me fishing.”
Written by Walter Strong, based on an interview by Lawrence NayallyWhen Laura Tutcho discovered she held the winning $55-million May 1 Lotto Max ticket, she waited a while but eventually called the lottery corporation for some hypothetical advice. ]]>