After he won a huge $24.5 million jackpot on the Canadian Lotto 649 drawing on November 7th, this Toronto retiree says that he will pay forward his fortune.
Not long after Rod Holinaty from Saskatchewan won $14.2 million also on the Lotto 649, Winston Parks, a 71 year old from North York in Toronto, Canada, worked for 37 years as an insurance salesman and just received his best policy yet – a $24.5 million lottery jackpot that will see him through the rest of his retirement, and his family through much of the rest of their lives. In fact, the modest lottery winner told 649 officials that his main concern after winning was the well-being of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“It’s about trying the best as I can to pay it forward,” he told lottery officials as he collected his Lotto 649 winnings on Tuesday and posed for pictures with his huge, oversized cheque worth $24.5 million, his sentiments echoing those of a Michigan Lotto 47 winner who planned to pay forward his entire $13.1 million prize. “In the life insurance business, you try and help people as best you can. You try to help them keep families together. So as long as the younger ones can benefit, if it will give them the opportunities of achieving what they want, then I’m happy with that.”
Mr Parks told officials his story of how he came to be holding the winning ticket for the Lotto 649 draw, after he originally bought a ticket from a Petro Canada on Bayview Avenue, only to be disappointed when the ticket won him just a free entry for the next draw. However, as you may have guessed, that free entry was for the draw on November 7th, and that’s exactly how Mr Parks won his $24.5 million prize in a stroke of luck, just like Peter McCathie from Nova Scotia whose $1 million Lotto 649 prize came after he survived a lightning bolt.
“The first thing is like, ‘Is this real’?” Mr Parks said of the moment he realised that he’d won. “I checked on my laptop and I checked on my desktop, too. I asked for family members to come and see for themselves.”
Mr Parks will see that his three children and six grandchildren are taken care of with his Canadian Lotto 649 winnings, just like John Biddlecombe from Derbyshire in England who made sure that he would treat his grandchildren and great-grandchildren with his UK Lotto winnings, but he will also see that he moves house. “I want to take it slow. No big plans, not going anywhere,” he said. “I don’t want to cut grass and shovel snow if I can avoid it.”
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