"It's life-changing": Canada's happiest new lottery winner celebrates $1 million win

May 15 2023, 7:03 pm

One recent winner said that he rarely plays the lottery but when he does, he chooses The Big Spin and The Bigger Spin tickets because they remind him of his late mother.

“My mother loved The Price is Right, and the big wheel reminds me of the show,” said John Boots, 52, a skilled trades worker and member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation.

Boots, a father and grandfather, had purchased The Bigger Spin ticket and was home when he scratched his ticket and discovered that he had won a spin. So he took the ticket to the store to try his luck.

“I went to the store thinking I was going to win $20,” he recalled. But he didn’t win a cash prize, at least not yet. Instead, he won a chance to spin The Bigger Spin Wheel at the OLG Prize Centre in downtown Toronto.

Boots said he was so shocked that he called his fiancée to meet him at the store.

“She was amazed!” he said.

Prior to the big day, he watched several videos of other winners to prepare for his turn at the wheel.

“I was astonished to see how much I could win!” he said.

To commemorate the occasion, Boots showed up with his loved ones and wore traditional Indigenous regalia.

John Boots/OLG

When he spun the wheel, he was thrilled to see the wheel land at $1 million.

“I brought items my mother left for me to help me feel like she was with me for this event,” he said. “It was a beautiful moment. Having my family cheering and jumping up to hug me when I won was so special.”

Now $1 million richer, Boots said the win will help him continue his advocacy as a supporter of Indigenous rights. He’ll also be using the money to help his father and set up a food truck to help his family.

“I’m going to call it Uncle Johnny’s after my dad,” he said. “This will provide opportunities for my whole family.”

Boots said that his big win feels like a fresh start.

“So many people dream of a chance like this and it’s incredible to have it happen to me. This win is my clean slate,” he said. “I wish everyone could have this experience. To go from hoping for a $20 win to winning $1 million is life-changing.”

The winning ticket was purchased at Oasis Gas & Variety on Fourth Line in Ohsweken, Ontario.

Irish Mae SilvestreIrish Mae Silvestre

+ News
+ Lottery
+ Canada