A Wasaga Beach family has 50 million reasons to smile today.
The main $50 million prize in Friday’s Lotto Max draw was sold to a Wasaga Beach-area resident; OLG officials have not confirmed the identity of the winner, though the owner of the store where the winning ticket was sold says the winner is a regular customer.
“The fellow, when he came in, he knew it was a winner but he wanted to be sure,” said Armenak Kesheshian, who’s owned The Corner Store at the Riverbend Plaza for 19 years. “He was very, very excited.”
Ontario Lottery and Gaming spokesperson Galit Solomon said the OLG can only confirm the ticket was sold in the Barrie area, and that it was validated in Wasaga Beach.
The OLG cannot confirm any other details until the person with the winning ticket comes forward in person to claim the prize.
“We still have to go through a process to go through,” she said.
Kesheshian said the winner only bought his ticket that night, about an hour before the 9 p.m. cutoff prior to the draw. He joked that three other women had been in the store earlier buying group tickets because they had a feeling the store was lucky.
“They had travelled far to buy it at our store because they thought that’s where the winning ticket would be sold,” he said. “It just happened that it was.”
Kesheshian was in the store when the winner came in to validate the ticket, and said the ticket machine “froze” as soon as the ticket was processed. He said it took about 35 minutes while OLG officials called the store to speak with the winner before the machine was ‘released’.
That’s when Kesheshian was finally able to print out the receipt — a 5 “with many, many zeroes … the length of my arm.”
Kesheshian said the winner was eager to head to OLG’s corporate office in Toronto to claim his prize, but was told the big prizes are only presented on weekdays.
“He’s a nice fellow, and very philanthropic in the community,” added Kesheshian’s wife, Debbie.
It’s not the first big ticket sold at The Corner Store. Kesheshian said he’s had a couple of Encore winners, and last Christmas sold a $50,000 scratch-and-win card.
There were other prize winning tickets sold in Ontario.
There was one winning Encore ticket sold in the North Bay area worth $1 million. Plus, one of two second prize tickets, worth $254,045.60, was sold in London. The other ticket was sold in Western Canada.
For each $5 play, Lotto Max players receive three sets of seven numbers ranging from one to forty-nine. Players must match all seven numbers, in any one set, to win the jackpot and the Maxmillions prizes.by