Manitoba's newest multimillionaires picked up their oversized, ceremonial cheque for $50-million Tuesday in Winnipeg and were instantly overcome with emotion.
"It's a new life for us," said Marie Fontaine, who learned on Saturday that she and her husband, Kirby, had matched all of the numbers in Friday's Lotto Max draw.
When asked by reporters what they were going to do with the money, Kirby began to speak, then broke into tears.
"My community — everybody prayed for me," he said, breaking into sobs once again. "This is hard for a stroke victim."
Kirby, who walked into the press conference on Tuesday using a cane, suffered a stroke several months ago and was off work from his job in security services at a casino near the couple's home community of Sagkeeng First Nation, northeast of Winnipeg.
He said the lottery ticket was purchased with his last $10.
The couple, who have two children, are still trying to figure out what to do with their windfall, Marie said.
"Everything's still up in the air. We are going day by day," she said, adding that she intends to "help those who have helped us. This is something that's going to affect everybody."
The couple has never travelled outside of Manitoba and want to take a few vacations "and see the world," Marie said.
While the money will change a lot of things, the Fontaines insist they will remain the same down-to-earth people.
"We still love McDonald's and Tim Hortons," she said.
Marie Fontaine said she and her husband plan to continue living on the Sagkeeng reserve because that's their home and it's where the people they know and trust live.
The biggest Canadian lottery jackpot was $54.3 million in a Lotto 6/49 draw in 2005. It was shared between 17 workers at an oil and gas company near Camrose, Alta.