A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased from a kiosk at a restaurant in Capilano Mall paid off in a $20.7-million windfall for Joanne Tsetta, but the Edmonton woman admitted Thursday it took her a while to get around to checking the numbers.
Joanne Tsetta said everytime she forgot, she told herself she could just check later.
"I thought, 'Oh, you know, I probably didn't win anyways,' " she told a news conference Thursday afternoon in St. Albert.
Tsetta bought the ticket at a kiosk located in the Albert's Family Restaurant at 50th Street and 98th Avenue in east Edmonton but didn't check her numbers at the Goldbar Esso until last Friday.
When she checked her ticket on the scanner, she saw "rows of numbers" come up and thought there was a problem with the machine. She had the clerk check the ticket, who told her she won something. Another woman in the gas station checked it for her too.
"That lady says, 'You won $20 million.' I said, 'Oh, OK,' " Tsetta said, laughing.
Tsetta said she stood there for a few minutes and then headed home, only letting a close friend in on her secret for several days. Eventually she told her children and other family members.
Word of the lottery win by an unknown woman at the gas station was reported in the media, but Tsetta's name wasn't revealed until Thursday.
Tsetta was one of two winners of the $41-million jackpot in the March 20 draw. A woman from London, Ont., claimed the other half of the prize. Tsetta's jackpot is the largest prize share ever claimed by one person in Alberta history.
Tsetta is currently attending school to earn her Grade 12 diploma. She intends to use her winnings to pay bills, buy a new vehicle and pay for her children's education.