18-year-old bought first lottery ticket and forgot about it — until her win made history
Juliette Lamour had never bought a lottery ticket.
Just after her birthday, the 18-year-old university student’s grandfather suggested she buy a ticket, she told Ontario, Canada, lottery officials. Not knowing which one to pick, she called her dad.
He told her to buy a Lotto 6/49 Quick Pick ticket, so she did, and then she put it out of her mind.
Later, rumors started swirling in her Canadian town, Sault Ste. Marie, according to a news release from Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. The winning ticket had been bought at a local Circle K, and it won big.
Lamour was at work when she remembered that she had bought a ticket, and she told officials that one of her co-workers pulled up the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s mobile app to scan her ticket to see if it won anything.
“My colleague fell to his knees in disbelief. He was yelling, in fact everyone was yelling that I won $48 million,” she told officials. “I didn’t understand what was going on at first. I couldn’t process this news. We kind of made a scene in the store that day!”
Lamour’s ticket was the sole winner of the Jan. 7 Lotto 6/49 Gold Ball jackpot, winning $48 million.
She is the youngest person to “win a jackpot of this size” in Canadian lottery history, according to the release.
Lamour said she called home to tell her parents the news.
“Because I was crying – happy tears – of course, my mom couldn’t understand what was going on,” she said, according to the lottery. “Thankfully my dad was able to piece together that I won the lottery jackpot.”
She said she could barely focus at work, but her mom wanted her to finish her shift.
“My colleagues called out ‘come and get her,’ and my parents eventually came to pick me up,” she said.
Despite the enormity of the prize, Lamour told lottery officials she found comfort from the fact that her dad is a financial planner, and the majority of the money will be invested and put away for now.
Lamour said she wants to become a doctor, and the money will allow her to do that someday.
“I wanted to go to medical school before winning the lottery. Now I can pursue this dream without worrying about grants or loans,” she told lottery officials. “As a member (of) the Garden River First Nation community, I was eligible for educational assistance programs, but I no longer need those resources which means someone else in the community can benefit from that funding. I really want to come back to this area as a doctor so I can give back to my community.”
Ontario lottery officials shared the news of Lamour’s win in a press conference on Feb. 3.
“While there have been other 18-year-old lottery winners across Canada in recent years, no one has won as much as Juliette,” lottery officials said in the release.
Lamour told lottery officials she received words of wisdom from her close social circle after she started sharing the news of her historic win: “Money doesn’t define you, it’s the work you do that will define you.”
“While I am so excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, I feel comforted knowing I am surrounded by the grounding love of my family,” she said, according to the release. “They will be with me on every step of this incredible journey.”
If you or a loved one shows signs of gambling addiction, you can seek help by calling the national gambling hotline at 1-800-522-4700 or visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling website.
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