A Toronto Lotto Max winner has been keeping a $35 million secret to himself this summer.
Ginno Torres, a recent college graduate, is now ready to reveal that he is a lottery winner from the June 22 Lotto Max draw, splitting the $70 million top prize with another winner in British Columbia.
"I wanted to make sure it was real before I surprised my family and friends with this incredible news,” the 29-year-old said when he received his cheque at the OLG Prize Centre.
Torres is a regular lottery player and purchased his winning ticket at King Grocery on King Street in Toronto. He checked his ticket at a local store but initially thought he had won $35,000, before checking again at another store.
"My stomach was in knots as I was thinking about what was happening," Torres said. "I was numb!"
"I had to try to continue on with my day as if nothing had happened as a coping mechanism to deal with the shock of this life changing event!"
At this point, Torres is still taking some time to figure out what to do with the money he won.
"I am going to make sure my family is taken care of and I will make some investments to make sure I am well taken care of long into the future," he said.
A portion of his winnings will be shared with charities and Torres also wants to redecorate his home. He plans to commission a piece of art from Canadian Indigenous artists and hopes to travel across Canada, in Europe and Asia, when it is safe to do so.
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.