Toronto man wins record $68M lottery — continues going to work without telling his colleagues

Noel Patricio couldn't believe his luck, that he kept checking his lucky ticket between his shifts.

Man holding a $68 million cheque.
Noel Patricio has some big plans for his record-breaking Lotto 6/49 jackpot, such as living out some sports dreams. (Courtesy: OLG)

A Toronto man says he wants "work a little bit less, but still keep my job," after winning a record-breaking $68 million lottery prize.

Noel Patricio is the lucky ticket holder for the Sept. 27 draw, securing the biggest prize ever offered in Lotto 6/49 history as part of its Gold Ball draw. Despite becoming a multimillionaire, Patricio wants to continue working his two jobs in the housekeeping industry.

“I love the work I do and the people I work with, and that’s what makes my two jobs so meaningful to me. I want to be the same Noel,” said Patricio, while at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto to claim his windfall.

Despite continuing to go to work, Patricio initially held the news back from his coworkers, as he wanted to get “everything in place before accepting this prize.”

“My colleagues would talk about the winning ticket sold in Toronto, I would stay quiet. It was too unbelievable to say, ‘It’s me!’”

Patricio, who was also celebrating a birthday the same week he claimed his prize, is a regular Lotto 6/49 player and had purchased the ticket while on break at work. He had heard the news about the unclaimed ticket that was purchased in Toronto, so he quickly went to check the OLG App to see if he could be the lucky winner.

He decided to give his sister a call to share his news and help verify his win.

“I checked my ticket on the OLG app and saw the Big Winner screen appear. I thought I won $68,000,” said Patricio, who was still at work when he discovered his win.

“She asked me to count the zeroes, and I told her there were six of them. That’s when she corrected me and said, ‘That’s $68 million!”

Being the biggest winner in Lotto 6/49 history was an unbelievable reality for Patricio. Throughout his work day, he even kept going to the bathroom to scan his ticket again and again to make sure the "Big Winner" message was still there.

“All I could think of was, is this a joke? Is this real? Will I wake up from this dream?” said Patricio.

“I finished my first job and checked my ticket several more times between my next shift — it was so unbelievable. Then I suddenly became so concerned on where to put this ticket to keep it safe!”

Patricio was overwhelmed by his enormous prize, and decided to take his time before heading to the OLG Prize Centre to claim it. He had only shared the news with his immediate family at the time.

Ironically, the chances of someone named Noel winning a record-breaking prize, right before Christmas, is a funny coincidence.

“I came to Canada with one suitcase and a few dollars — it’s unbelievable to think I am here as the Gold Ball Jackpot winner! I am ready to settle into my excitement and live an exciting life,” said Patricio.

With his windfall, the winner wants to give his family a good life — he’ll start by taking them all on a vacation to Italy. He also wants to buy season tickets for the Raptors, travel and see Rafael Nadal play live, and renovate his current home.

The winning ticket was purchased at Hasty Market on Church Street in Toronto. The winning Gold Ball numbers were 50755138-03.

The Gold Ball draw is a new format introduced in September 2022, and guarantees a winner every time. It starts at $10 million and includes 30 balls in the draw: 29 white and 1 gold. Each white ball is worth $1 million, whereas the gold ball represents the lucky jackpot prize. This Gold Ball jackpot continues to grow by $2 million each time a white ball is drawn, until it reaches $68 million with no more white balls remaining — which then guarantees a winner, like Noel Patricio.

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