A 70-year-old retiree from Toronto's Scarborough area won big after scoring the $20 million Lotto 6/49 prize from the July 9 draw.
Stephen Dixon has been playing the same numbers for 36 years, based on significant family dates. The winning ticket was purchased at Sunstar Convenience on Ellesmere Road in Scarborough.
While he's been playing the lottery for decades, Dixon's son is actually the person that reminded him to check is Lotto 6/49 ticket, after hearing that the winning ticket was sold in Scarborough.
"I was at the store running errands, when I stopped to check my ticket," Dixon said. "When I saw the Big Winner screen, I assumed the $20 million that appeared was an advertisement for the next draw."
"The store clerk checked the ticket for me and said, 'Oh my God, you’ve won the big one!' and she started dancing and cheering. Everyone in the store came to congratulate me. It was nerve-wracking – I was in a daze. I got into my car and realized how shocked I was. Too shocked to celebrate like they do in commercials."
When Dixon's wife first looked at the winning ticket, she originally saw $20,000. When he told her it was actually $20 million, she didn’t believe him.
"She was convinced I was playing a prank on her," he said.
The lottery winner has indicated that his priority is to share the money with his family.
"I'm not a materialistic person. For me, this win is not about stuff, it's about family," Dixon said. "I have some wonderful people in my life I want to share this with."
"This win will take us all over the world creating stories that will last a few lifetimes. I am so excited to make memories with my family."
LOTTO 6/49 players in Ontario have won over $13.7 billion in prizes since 1982, including 1,419 jackpot wins and 415 Guaranteed $1 Million Prize draws.
Tools to stop gambling
If you're looking to take a break from gambling, self-exclusion programs can be effective tools. See here for resources that are available across Canada.