It's the country's largest payout from a ticket bought online
By Kate Northrop
A man from Winnipeg, Canada could barely comprehend the lifechanging notion that he was the sole winner of the $60 million (US$46.77 million) Lotto Max jackpot from the Jan. 22 drawing and initially shook off the idea.
John Chua's wife, Jhoana, woke him up early in the morning the next day to tell him that someone from their town had won the record jackpot, but his first reaction to hearing the news was disappointment that it was likely not him.
"I was jealous of whoever won... not knowing it was me," he jokingly told the Western Canada Lottery.
John would regularly purchase tickets for his family but began playing online in November when public health orders restricted the retail sale of lottery tickets in Manitoba. The morning after the draw, he checked his account online but did not immediately recognize any signs that would indicate he was a winner.
He dismissed it for the time being and went on with his day, not realizing that the single email he would receive later would change everything.
"I thought it might be a Free Play or something," he said when he recalled checking his email. "But it said $60 million — I was confused, so I checked on PlayNow.com when I got home. And there it was; I didn't see it earlier in the morning."
John couldn't believe that the winner of the Lotto Max jackpot from Winnipeg was really him. According to the Lottery, he did actually win two Free Plays in addition to the $60,000,020 prize, which he is splitting with his wife, his mother Angie Chua, and his uncle Ben Lagman.
Not only is it the biggest lottery jackpot ever awarded to a player in Manitoba, but it is the largest amount ever paid out to a ticket purchased online in Canada.
John matched the seven winning numbers for the Lotto Max Jan. 22 drawing to take home the jackpot, which were 11, 21, 23, 25, 28, 41, and 43. The Bonus Ball was 10.
In an interview with the Lottery, Angie said she couldn't comprehend that her son was telling her that they were about to be multi-millionaires and thought her son was playing a prank on her.
"He always plays jokes — he's a joker, so I didn't believe it," she said. "I believe now that it's real. Now we're not just dreaming anymore."
John said that his mind went blank when it finally sunk in that he won the massive prize but remarked that he knows to be cautious with how he manages the winnings.
"I'm not really sure right now," he said of his future plans. "That's why probably I will take my time before spending all that money to whatever. I just want to be wise, and I have kids now, so now I'm thinking for the future."
The big win hasn't deterred him from playing either. If anything, it's encouraged him to keep playing for entertainment.
"It's a lot of fun!" he laughed.
(Click to display full-size in gallery)