Franco Varone is the single biggest lottery winner in Ontario history.
Franco Varone of Woodbridge can hardly believe how his life, and that of his family, is about to change after discovering he matched all seven numbers in the October 7, 2011 Lotto Max draw, winning the $50 million jackpot.
Rod Phillips, OLG’s President and CEO presented Mr. Varone with the $50 million dollar cheque today in a news conference at the OLG Prize Centre. “We have been awaiting Mr. Varone’s arrival,” said Phillips. “Mr. Varone is the biggest winner on a single ticket in Ontario history.”
The 73 year old retired mechanic found out about his incredible good fortune during a shopping trip with his wife shortly after the draw. “I was trembling in my car when I saw I matched all seven numbers, so I told my wife right away and she started to cry,” said Varone.
Varone, who has four children and four grandchildren, waited to tell his family about the win until Thanksgiving Sunday when they were all gathered for dinner. His children thought something was wrong when he told them he had an important announcement. “He swore us to secrecy,” said his children.
Varone decided to wait two weeks to claim the ticket because he wanted to think about the windfall and think about what he’s going to do with the money. “I didn’t want to rush in like others do, I wanted to be prepared before collecting the cheque.”
As for his plans for the $50 million, Varone wants to take his time and weigh all his options.” I think there will be a trip involved with the whole family, but I will take my time in deciding how to spend the $50 million. But my 50th wedding anniversary is coming up next year, so it will make the occasion extra special.”
Varone has been playing the lottery for decades and chose the winning numbers on his own.
The winning ticket was purchased at Vicky and Mom’s Convenience store in the Steeles and Rutherford area in Woodbridge.