Why former auto worker waited weeks to claim $30m prize

Nick Takticos, 35, is now a retiree. The former auto worker quits his job working for Toyota in Cambridge after he picks the winning numbers to OLG's Lotto Max $30 million jackpot.
Nick Takticos, 35, is now a retiree and millionaire.

Nick Takticos used to tell his co-workers every Friday that they wouldn’t see him at work on Monday. He always said he’d win the lottery. And then he did.

“Guess what? It happened,” he said. “Who was listening to me up there?”

On the week after Labour Day, Takticos walked into work at Cambridge’s Toyota Plant and told his co-workers he was retiring. The 35-year-old Hamilton man won $30 million by choosing the winning numbers of the OLG's latest jackpot.

The OLG announced the Aug. 30 win on Monday at a press conference in Toronto. Takticos bought the ticket at Royal Variety and Video on Whitney Avenue in west Hamilton, where he was born and raised.

“[My co-workers] were just so happy... genuinely happy,” he said. “And in that kind of a moment, they’re in shock. To see the smiles and their eyes, and all the hugs and well-wishes, it got to me. It really, really got to me. “

Takticos worked as a paint inspector in the Lexus part of the factory. He’s been buying lottery tickets of all kinds since he was 18, he said.

"I saw that the last line of my ticket had four matching numbers. I got up at that point, thinking ‘I’m so close, which of the next numbers will not match,'" he said.

He called his mom. She didn't believe him

Once he realized he had the winning digits, Takticos said his first call was to his mom. But even she didn't believe him until she saw the ticket for herself.

“Everybody dreams of giving your mom this kind of news,” he said.

He took his time claiming his win, only presenting his ticket to the OLG last Thursday.

“I called and said, ‘I think you have been looking for me,’” he said with a laugh.

Takticos wanted to tell as many family members in person, one-on-one as he could. He told one uncle first in person, and then another separately.

“I didn’t want them to hear about it on TV,” he said.

Takticos doesn't have solid plans for how to spend the cash just yet, but he’s always had a dream of owning a cottage on a lake a few hours north of the city.

He also isn't sure if he'll remain in his hometown of Hamilton, but doesn't want to stray too far from his beloved Tiger-Cats.

“I’ll probably be at the Grey Cup this year,” he said. “Because [the Ticats] will be there... oh sorry, they’re going to win.”

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