As Leslie MacMillan checked her online lottery account early one morning, she couldn’t help but feel shocked when she saw her Canadian Lotto 649 winning number getting bigger and bigger in front of her eyes.
In fact, the numbers that Leslie was looking at increased from what she thought was $36,000 to more than $3 million as she became Winnipeg’s latest winner of the Lotto 649 grand prize, joining the likes of Chi Minh La who won $1 million on the Lotto Max draw last year. “Sunday morning,” she said as she set the scene for lottery officials. “I always check my email first thing in the morning. There was one ticket that came up saying B.C. Lottery and I thought that was different but I’ll check it anyway,” she said of the British Columbia lottery ticket which was different from those purchased in her own province, Manitoba, and is where three friends shared a Lotto 649 jackpot earlier this month.
But actually, it was that ticket which matched the winning numbers and won her $3,620,435 on the February 27th Lotto 649 draw. “I scrolled down and scrolled down and there was this huge, long number that I thought was $36,000 and change, and then I thought it was $360,000 and change, too long, then I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s $3 million’” she said, echoing the thoughts of Raul Ahumada from Missouri who thought he’d won $25,000, not $25 million on the Mega Millions.
She said that with thoughts running through her head at a million miles an hour, she didn’t know what to do or who to call, and because it was early she decided to send an email to her friend, Ken Meyer, a neighbour who she met recently upon moving into an apartment building. It was Ken, then, who accompanied Leslie to Western Canada’s lottery headquarters where she claimed her prize, just a few months after a record breaking $64 million Lotto 649 jackpot was won in Ontario.
This wasn’t Leslie’s first lottery win, however, as she admitted that she did win $50,000 on a scratch card in 2004. “This one’s a little bit bigger and better,” she conceded. “It’s amazing, just absolutely amazing.”
The lottery winner plans to go on vacation to Hawaii with some friends, and is thinking of buying the empty lot next to her apartment building, for her own parking garage.
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