There’s nothing better than starting the new year off with a bunch of coin in the bank, and one lucky Ontario aunt and nephew duo will have a much easier time paying off those holiday bills to kick off 2023.
Christine Dee of Newmarket and her nephew Matthew Hug of Etobicoke are the winners of the $1 million Instant Ultimate prize from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission (OLG) draw on December 31.
The pair were celebrating with family over the Christmas holidays when they decided to a buy lotto ticket together, hoping for the festive season to become just a touch sweeter.
But this wasn’t just any scratch-and-win ticket. It was the special limited edition $100 Instant Ultimate, where all proceeds are given back to the province for reinvestment.
Hug and Dee say they bought this ticket because of their odds of winning, 1 in 3.55 with 40 top $1 million prizes.
“We went to the store together to purchase the ticket,” said Dee, while picking up their not-so-gigantic novelty cheque.
“I scanned our ticket on New Year’s Day at 7:32 am. I was so shocked I thought I was dreaming! I called Matthew and told him to call me back ASAP.”
Not expecting to win, Hug tells the OLG when he received his aunt’s voicemail, he thought something bad had happened at first and wasn’t ready for a $1 million announcement.
“When she told me we won, I didn’t believe it. It was surreal and completely unexpected,” he said.
What makes this lotto even more special is that Dee and Hug won it together during the holidays, a special memory neither will ever forget.
As for the winnings, the pair will use the money wisely, and make expensive down payments toward new houses.
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And with Hug being extra sweet, he plans to devote a chunk of his winnings to completely pay off his mother’s mortgage as well.
Though a few weeks have passed since that OLG winning tune rung through Dee’s ears, the excitement has yet to fade away.
“I didn’t sleep for three days! This is so cool — my stomach is still turning,” she said.