A lottery player from Oakville, Ont., discovered he won a $22 million Lotto Max jackpot on the morning of his wife's 50th birthday.
"She was wondering why I screamed, so I called her over, showed her the screen and said, ‘Happy Birthday!’ and in the blink of an eye our lives changed for the better," 56-year-old IT employee Garry Myles said as he received his lottery winnings.
Myles has been buying lottery tickets for about 20 year but admitted that he had a tendency to forget to purchase tickets ahead of the draw, that's why he signed up for the lottery subscription on OLG.ca two years ago.
"When I received an email that morning, it looked different than the ones I’ve received in the past," he said. "At first, I thought I won $22 and a Free Play, which I thought was an odd amount to win."
"Then I looked again, and I thought I saw $22,000. I kept looking at it and counted all the digits – that’s when I realized I won the jackpot!"
Myles and his wife told their kids to come to the computer and instructed them to click on the winning link, so they could see the good news.
"It was a surreal moment," Myles said. "Everyone dreams about winning the lottery but I’m pretty sure no one expects it. It’s unbelievable to think I am the guy whose dreams will come true."
The lottery winner intends to pay off his mortgage, travel and share some of the money with his family.
"I’d love to start with a relaxing trip to the beach then I will explore Europe and re-discover music in Vienna, spend some time in Prague, and experience a musical Scottish tattoo," he shared.
"Thinking about receiving a cheque for $22 million makes me giggle. I don’t know if being a multimillionaire will fully sink in until I’ve done something big, like pay off my mortgage."
The winning ticket was from the Jan. 18 draw.
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.