What would you do if you won the lottery?
Once the shock fades and the happy reality sinks in, lottery players soon realize there’s actually quite a lot of work to do when it comes to coming up with a plan for their winnings.
Most want to use a portion on savings, paying off bills, investing, charity, and setting money aside for their family’s future.
But practical matters aside, the money does allow some winners to finally splurge on something they’ve wanted for a while.
From muscle cars to pets, here’s what some of this year’s winners planned to do with their windfall.
Luc-Hao Truong from Newmarket, Ontario
When Luc-Hao Truong plays the lottery, she always thinks of her family.
“The numbers I play represent significant family dates,” she said. So it’s only natural that Truong had her family in mind when she won $111,221.50 in the July 2 Lotto 6/49 draw.
She’ll use her winnings to pay bills and buy a brand-new car. But she does plan to make a practical purchase: Truong will be buying burial plots for herself and her husband so that their family can always visit.
Helena Bragg from St. John, Newfoundland and Labrador
When Helena Braggs went shopping for wine and flowers, little did she know that her shopping trip would result in a $1 million Lotto 6/49 win.
When she asked the store attendant to check her ticket, he said, “Umm, this says it’s a major winner.” Braggs said she was so overwhelmed she forgot the flowers.
She’ll use the money for renovations, bills, charities, and a vacation. But there’s one other thing that she’s always wanted to buy.
“I see a nice, bright yellow convertible with black leather seats and a black leather top,” Bragg said while claiming her prize. “I had one many years ago, and I may just finish off with another one.”
Judith Byrnes from Bolton, Ontario
“I asked for a Bingo ticket, but I changed my mind and ended up buying a winning Crossword ticket,” recalled Judith Byrnes. The last-minute decision paid off because what she thought was a $5,000 prize turned out to be $50,000.
Byrnes, who’s now retired, will be using her money to pay some bills, invest, and take a trip. But she will also be using her winnings on something else.
“I’m also getting a dog!” she said.
Arden Whalley from Surrey, BC
When Arden Whalley won $58,070 in the April 6 Lotto 6/49 draw, he said he and his son were in disbelief.
It took a while for him to accept that the prize was indeed real, adding that the experience had been “awesome, incredible, life-changing!”
Apart from giving some money to his son and visiting family in eastern Canada, he said he plans to splurge on top-notch moustache grooming.
Roxanna Bailey from London, Ontario
“When all three numbers came up, I screamed,” recalled Roxanna Bailey, a factory worker from London, Ontario. “I was shocked!”
Bailey won a $50,000 prize on Instant Bingo and screamed so loudly that her grandkids came running to check on her.
She said she’ll put money aside for home improvements and share some with her daughters. But she does plan to spend to treat herself to a new kitchen appliance.
“I’d like to get a new dishwasher and treat myself to a little shopping spree,” she said.
Chad Madrigga from Castlegar, BC
When Chad Madrigga won a Maxmillions prize worth $1 million, he realized it was his chance to finally make a long-time dream come true.
Madrigga was fixing his girlfriend’s Jeep when he discovered he had won.
“She saw there was a winner in the area and insisted that I check my ticket, and sure enough, a winner,” he said.
Madrigga said he plans to renovate his garage and go on a cross-Canada road trip in 2023. And he’ll finally be able to fulfill his dream of owning a powerful muscle car: a 1998 Dodge Viper.
“I’ve always wanted a Viper, and a few times before, I almost bought one, but then common sense kicked in,” he recalled. With prices ranging from $70,000 to $98,000, it looks like there will be a couple of road trips in Madrigga’s future.
With files from Amir Ali and Laine Mitchell