Montreal astrology enthusiast to buy a new bicycle after $7M lotto win: 'The planets were aligned'

After the big Grande Vie jackpot, Robert Gareau has Jupiter and Uranus to thank.

Man and woman holding a lotto cheque in front of a confetti background.
To make the moment even sweeter, the Montreal-resident accepted his prize money on the day of his late mother's birthday. (Courtesy: Loto-Québec).

Astrology enthusiast Robert Gareau of Montreal has been playing Grande Vie since 2016. As part of the April 25 draw, he finally hit it big, winning the option to take home $7 million or $1,000 a day for life.

Gareau, who writes astrology columns for newspapers and magazines, said the signs of his victory were written in the sky.

“The planets were aligned … Jupiter and Uranus,” said the Montreal-resident.

It was around 4 a.m. when Gareau checked his ticket and discovered his life-changing win. Initially, he had a hard time believing it and struggled to fall back asleep. When it came time to choose his Grande Vie prize, Gareau picked the $7 million option instead of opting for $1,000 a day for life.

“I’m 69 years old, maybe I only have 6 months left to live,” he said.

With the jackpot, there are a lot of possibilities, but one thing is for certain: Gareau wants to now buy a new bicycle, after his previous one was stolen a few years ago.

"I'm going to replace my bike, that's for sure," said Gareau to the Journal de Montreal. "An ordinary bicycle with pedals, not an electric one, because that prevents us from exercising."

Interestingly, the conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus wasn’t the only sign from the universe; the press conference announcing his win happened to take place on his late mother’s birthday.

“Thanks mom,” said Gareau, while holding back tears.

After depositing his cheque, Gareau will consider other purchases. Besides a new bike, he is thinking of a condo and convertible New Beetle, a car he has owned twice before, according to a press release from Loto-Québec. He also plans to buy a telescope to continue his stargazing hobby.

Grande Vie is a $3 per play game, with a draw every Monday and Thursday. Each play includes a selection of five main numbers and one grand number. Players can pick their own numbers for a chance at winning a grand prize, and if the numbers match, the winner can choose between a few selection of prizes. The odds of winning the $1,000 a day for life (or $7,000,000 lump sum) prize is 1 in 13,348,188.

Gareau matched five out of five numbers (3,12,15,18,37) and the Grand Numéro 4, leading to his win of $1,000 day for life or the option of a $7,000,000 lump sum.

Gareau isn’t the first winner to opt for the lump sum prize, but Loto-Québec “urges winners to speak with relevant professionals to make the decision that best suits their situation,” said Renaud Dugas, spokesperson and head of press relations at Loto-Québec, toYahoo Canada.

Looking at which option is more desirable, it’s good to take into account that it would take just over 19 years of $1,000 a day for a winner to reach $7,000,000.

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.