TORONTO — A 73-year-old Woodbridge, Ont., man now has a million dollars for every year he and his wife have been married after winning the jackpot in a Lotto Max draw.
Franco Verone won $50 million in the Oct. 7 draw making him Ontario's biggest single lottery winner ever.
"I feel very good," the Italian immigrant said Tuesday after accepting his cheque at Ontario Lottery Gaming headquarters in downtown Toronto.
Verone was out shopping with his wife soon after the draw when he checked his ticket and realized he had won.
"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," the senior said.
The windfall came just two weeks after Verone retired from his job as a mechanic.
"I wish I won 50 years ago," he said with a big smile.
Verone shared the news with his four kids and four grandkids when they gathered around the table for Thanksgiving two weeks later.
Verone said he'd like to do something special for each of his loved ones. He's considering taking his whole family on a trip.
He and his wife will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next year and Verone said he plans to do something "extra special" to mark the occasion.
But he has no intention of blowing his millions.
"I've worked very hard in my life, very hard," Verone said, explaining he plans to "be careful" spending his winnings.
Verone has played Lotto Max since its inception three years ago and he said he has always played the same seven numbers.
OLG President and CEO said that while there have been other $50 million lottery jackpots, those draws were won by groups of people who shared the prize.
"Mr. Verone is the biggest winner on a single ticket in Ontario history," he said.