History buff has a big to-do list
By Kate Northrop
A recent winner of the $70 million (US$54.03 million) multi-province Lotto Max jackpot already has plans underway to help rebuild war-torn Ukraine, among other items to be crossed off on his premeditated checklist.
The $70 million Lotto Max jackpot winner from the June 7 drawing was revealed to be Marcel Lussier, of Brossard, Montreal, who has a solid plan for how he wants to spend his winnings.
Every time Lussier enters a draw, he spends time at night drafting a list of how he'd want to spend the prize money. The night of June 7 was the final night he'd have to craft that list.
On the night of the drawing, Lussier said he woke up in the middle of the night with a "funny inkling" that he'd won the lottery.
Imagine the next morning when he checked his numbers and learned he'd won the entire $70 million jackpot.
"It was a normal day like the others, no stress," the winner told the Montreal Gazette. "I was calm, natural."
Sure enough, he found that the winning numbers on his computer screen matched the ones on his ticket: 6, 13, 17, 20, 28, 36, and 44 with Bonus 31.
"Did you know I just won $70 million?" he had immediately asked his wife.
He scrambled to find a good hiding place for his lottery ticket while he got his bearings, but the spot was so well-hidden, he was worried he would forget where it was before heading to the Lottery's headquarters to claim the prize.
But Lussier showed up to the Lottery on Friday morning to accept his check with a relaxed smile and dressed in a colorful floral shirt. Coincidentally, the retired Hydro-Québec engineer had once worked in the same building where he had accepted his ceremonial check at the press conference.
When the self-proclaimed history buff addressed the media, he talked about how he'd like to extend his research on some historical figures since he retired in 2002.
He and his wife were also one of many couples whose travel plans were interrupted due to COVID-19. Now, he hopes to make up for it by taking his wife on a long-awaited cruise.
However, Lussier's goals go beyond a personal bucket list. The lottery winner is already speaking with an entrepreneur about how they can go about rebuilding war-torn Ukraine by donating pre-made homes.
His eyes are also set on helping those in his province by establishing a new center for autistic adults, a cause he says is close to his heart.
Lussier also won secondary prizes on top of the jackpot, taking home a grand total of $70,027,052 (US$54,051,780.63). Now he has "71 million plans for the future," the winner told the Quebec Lottery.
Usually, Lussier will play Lotto Max with an eight-number "combination play" ticket, which plays several sets of numbers at once and is how he won both the jackpot and a prize in the secondary prize category.
According to the Lottery, he is the third Lotto Max jackpot winner in Québec in the last 2½ years. The winning ticket was sold at Dépanneur Bethel on Boulevard Rome in Brossard, who received a 1% commission of $700,270 (US$541,232).
"Lotto Max is a hit with Quebecers, and the lottery game churns out loads of winners every year," Loto-Québec President and CEO Jean-Franҫois Bergeron said in a press release. "Last year, Québec players were especially lucky, pocketing nearly $1.5 billion [US$1.16 billion] in lottery prizes, including 131 prizes of $1 million [US$771,870] or more, which are all-time highs."