Ontario man finds winning lottery ticket after cleaning out his drawer months later: 'I can now say I'm a millionaire!'

Make sure you check your drawers, since you might also be holding on to an unclaimed ticket.

"My head began to spin," said the Arnprior, Ont. resident following the life-changing lottery win (Courtesy: OLG)
"My head began to spin," said the Arnprior, Ont. resident following the life-changing lottery win (Courtesy: OLG)

While cleaning out his drawer, Sandipkumar Patel discovered a winning lottery ticket worth $1 million. Patel, who plays the lottery two to three times a week, experienced the win in March 2024, after realizing he won through Encore as part of the July 29, 2023, Lotto 6/49 draw.

“I was cleaning out the drawer and I found this ticket, so I scanned it on the OLG app and saw I won big,” said Patel in March, while at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto to pick up his winnings.

“My head began to spin. I was so shocked!”

Although Patel never anticipated winning such a big prize, his wife always maintained faith in his luck.

“I never thought I’d win but my wife always had faith in me,” said the self-employed resident of Arnprior, Ont. “It’s like a dream come true.”

Patel matched all seven Encore numbers — 7747238 — in exact order, leading to his impressive $1 million prize. He purchased the ticket at a Circle K on Madawaska Street in Arnprior, Ont.

Encore is a supplementary game which is offered alongside most lottery games for an additional $1. It provides players with 22 different ways to win, and players must watch a set of numbers printed on their ticket in order to win prizes that range from $2 to $1 million. With a daily draw, the game also offers frequent opportunities for players to try their luck.

With his newfound fortune, Patel has practical plans in mind. He wants to first pay off his mortgage, then invest and save. This win will help provide some financial security for Patel and his wife.

For Patel, a routine act of cleaning turned into a life-changing moment. Luck can strike when least expected, so make sure you check your drawers, glove compartments and jacket pockets regularly — as you too may be holding on to a life-changing prize. For lottery games in Canada, players have one year from the draw date to claim their prize.

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.