‘It’s like I am waiting for Ashton Kutcher to pop out,’ Athilee Woodward jokes in reference to the star of TV’s Punk’d. The feeling that it’s all too good to be true won’t leave her just yet. It’s clear to the Lotto Max winner that she has managed to beat some truly impressive odds.
Athilee is no stranger to being one in a million, or more accurately, two in a million. She has a rare condition called Cushing’s Disease that only affects two people in a population of million. Since her latest surgery, she’s been joking around about her fortunes.
‘I’ve been saying, ‘How come I can’t win the lottery?” Athilee said with a wry look. This time, Athilee beat odds of one in nearly 29 million to exactly match all seven numbers of one of the 17 Max Millions numbers drawn on November 18th. Since no other ticket across Canada matched those numbers, the $1 Million prize is all hers.
Athilee bought the winning ticket at Red River Co-op at 3755 Portage Avenue a few days before the November 18th Lotto Max draw. For nearly seven days afterwards, she had no idea she was sitting on a winning lottery ticket. When she finally took the ticket in to be checked while fueling up, Athilee was certain she wasn’t reading the screen properly.
‘I thought the Self-Checker was broken,’ she said. After multiple tries, she got the clerk to scan it. Even the clerk wasn’t sure what she was looking at.
‘The clerk said, ‘I think you won $100,000!’ and then another clerk walks over and takes a look and he said, ‘No, that’s six zeroes!” Athilee recalled.
‘I definitely dropped a few F-bombs,’ she said, apologetically. After nearly forgetting to pay for her gas, Athilee went home. ‘I think everyone was kind of freaked out,’ she said of the big discovery.
In fact, she’s still trying to let the good news sink in. ‘Even when I walked up to present the ticket at Western Canada Lottery Corporation, I still felt like the clerk was going to say, ‘Whoops!” Athilee said, shaking her head with disbelief.
Although she doesn’t have any immediate plans for her windfall, she is planning a nice Christmas and enjoying the feeling of being debt-free.by