Two cousins from the prairie town of Winnipeg in Canada have split a $1 million lottery prize after they matched the winning numbers in the July 13th Lotto 649 draw.
Arlene Culis and Vanessa Sofronio, who are not only cousins but also live together, won their top prize on the Lotto 649 draw which took place on July 13th, and they told Western Canada officials that they couldn’t contain their shock and surprise after they found out about their fortune, just like a New Zealand family lottery syndicate who won $7 million on the NZ Powerball earlier this year. Ms Culis said as they collected their prize money that she found out the pair had won after checking the winning numbers from the draw online. Earlier this year, another Winnipeg Lotto 649 player won more than $3 million after mistakenly thinking she would be claiming just $36,000.
“I was surprised, shocked, really,” Ms Culis said. “I just sat there, gawking at the screen for a little while.” She soon recovered from the shock enough to head home and tell her cousin, whose reaction was equally shocked, but with added tears.
“I couldn’t believe that we won a million dollars,” she said. “It still hasn’t sunk in, to be honest.” Earlier this year, a group of three friends from British Columbia shared more than $3.6 million on the Lotto 649, and the Winnipeg girls won their prize thanks to the guaranteed prize draw as the jackpot numbers were drawn, which ensures that one player across Canada take home $1 million every draw. The winning raffle numbers of 28445485-02 were printed on the ticket that the cousins purchased from City Place Lotto in Winnipeg.
Ms Culis and Ms Sofronio, whose names will be added to this year’s list of Winnipeg millionaires, including a grandfather who scored $1 million on a scratch card, told Lotto 649 officials that they were still trying to figure out how they will spend their winnings, with each of them seeing different ideas cross their minds. Ms Culis said that she thought she would be putting some of the money away for her family, while Ms Sofronio said that she thought she would pay off her Jeep, but besides that she hadn’t made any decisions.
“I can’t think of anything else right now,” the lottery winner said. “I still can’t believe that it’s real.”
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