Nearly homeless at one point, winner now wants to help others get back on their feet
By Kate Northrop
EAST GWILLIMBURY, Canada — A veteran from the Canadian military who won a huge $65 million (US$51.6 million) Lotto Max jackpot was inspired by his past experiences to make the world better place with his newfound wealth.
Jansen Ng, 41, of East Gwillimbury, Ontario, won't let millions get to his head. Nearly homeless at one point in the past, the lottery winner wants to instill hope and positivity in the world by giving back to his community.
While out playing Pokémon Go, Ng stopped at Marina's Express Mart on Leslie Street in Sharon and picked up a Quick Pick ticket for the Lotto Max drawing held on Tues., July 6. As an occasional lottery player, he didn't expect to walk away a multi-millionaire following the draw.
"I had heard on the news that the jackpot had been won in my local municipality of York Region, but it didn't really click that it could be me," he recalled. "A few days after the draw, I went to check the ticket on a ticket checker, and the message said, 'Please See Retailer.' I thought the ticket checker was malfunctioning and decided to check the ticket at home on the OLG Lottery App."
The lucky winner couldn't believe his eyes when the "Big winner" message kept popping up, no matter which device he checked his ticket on. Still in utter disbelief, he went back to the retailer and scanned his ticket at a terminal, only to hear a chime that confirmed the shattering win.
The winning numbers for the Lotto Max drawing on July 6, 2021 were 10, 14, 25, 26, 38, 41, and 50, with Bonus Ball 49.
"I felt the responsibility of this win immediately," Ng said of the moment he discovered his win. "I wanted to be sure to use this money responsibly, so I felt my pastor was the best person to work that through with me. This is such a humbling experience."
"I see this as God's money," Ng continued. "I've just been entrusted to take care of it for a little while."
Ng's past experiences inspired him to figure out ways in which he could use the money to benefit the world around him. During his service in the military, he suffered a traumatic brain injury that forced him to retire. One of Ng's goals as a lottery winner and veteran is to help other veterans in similar situations cope with non-visible injuries that lead to a diminished quality of life.
"At one point, I was almost homeless because I didn't know how to deal with my injury," Ng explained. "I was struggling with making decisions, and some of the things I did were strange and irrational, but I kept the true cause hidden from the people around me."
"I hope to help some who are struggling as I did without having to face more personal hardships."
As someone who currently works with multiple charities, it's a no-brainer that he'll continue to support them, all the while investigating ways to set up multiple foundations and other non-profit organizations.
"I have travelled extensively over the years, saw much poverty and want to try to make the world a better place with some of this money," Ng related. "Lottery winnings used strategically and intentionally can impact the community far beyond just a simple donation."
Ng also plans on using some of the money to buy a new electric vehicle to replace his current hybrid car, but he is adamant that the winnings won't change who he is.
"I'm still going to be the guy who donates blood every two months and cuts his own hair," he said. "I have been cutting my own hair for the last 10 years, not as a result of the pandemic, and I think I do a pretty good job at it."
Regardless of whether you're a true lottery enthusiast or the occasional player like Ng, the winner of the $65 million jackpot had some inspiring words for those experiencing their own difficulties in life.
"People buy lottery tickets because of hope," Ng said thoughtfully. "Hope has been diminished a bit for some because of the pandemic, but I want to encourage everyone to hang in there. I've gone through a lot of hardship, but hope helped me to get up every time I've fallen," Ng said. "Look forward to tomorrow. Who knows? You might win the lottery as well."