Staying in touch with your ex may not be as toxic as you think.
Divorcees Elizabeth and Arlene Lumbo can attest to that.
The former lovers– who have remained friends – took home a whopping $44,023,273.40 after winning the Lotto Max prize jackpot on the July 20 draw.
Despite ending their formal relationship, the pair continued to play the game together.
And that netted each an equal share of the grand prize, at $22,011,636 per player.
“I heard the jingle play on the ticket checker, and when I looked at the screen, I told the clerk something was wrong with the machine,” Elizabeth told the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).
“I handed him my ticket to scan, and he told me I won the jackpot. When I realized we won $44 million, tears started running down my cheeks.”
Family birthdates provide winning Lotto Max prize numbers
Fittingly, in a story woven together with forgiveness and compassion, the birthdates and ages of loved ones provided the winning formula.
OLG stated the winning numbers were 2-13-15-19-38-39-46.
The former couple’s daughter made the selection. But even she did not believe her family’s fortune when her mother broke the news.
She needed to see photo proof of the winning ticket purchased at Lucky Lottery Centre on Sheppard Avenue in Scarborough.
Perhaps one reason for that skepticism is how much she impacted the outcome.
Elizabeth and Arlene have only been using the family birthdate number combo since the pandemic started.
Family to live apart but together, in separate nearby houses
With the surrealness of the events now dissipating, the family must mull over what to do with the fortune.
The priority will be finding a property where the whole family can live together. They want to be in close quarters but separate houses.
Next, Elizabeth, a customer service representative, will finish out the next few years of her job. She’s just a few years away from retirement.
Travel plans once the pandemic is over are also in motion.
“It’s a beautiful thing to have raised children who have plans on how they want to build their lives,” Elizabeth said, noting she also plans to continue playing the Lotto Max.
“Now we can make that happen. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude. I am humbled by this blessing.”
Amusing stories from Canadian lottery jackpot winners plentiful
Few Lotto Max winning stories may touch Arlene and Elizabeth on the wholesomeness meter.
But the past year has seen many winners have knee-slapping tales to tell for their serendipitous events.
In Sept. 2021, a BC woman tied the record for the biggest lottery win in Canadian history at $70 million. Her itch to get the ticket came with a craving for a bag of peanuts.
Meanwhile, Manitoba man, Jerry Knott, became $20 million richer when he decided to inspect his wallet. He had bought a ticket a month earlier and had “forgotten” about it.
Attending his daughter’s wedding in the same town where he bought the ticket jogged his memory.