Northern winners claim two $1M lottery prizes

'For some reason, that day I had it in my mind that I should buy a ticket,' says lottery winner Bradley McNeill.

Winning numbers drawn July 13, couples in Yukon and N.W.T. have now claimed them

Janice and Bradley McNeill were driving home from Edmonton when they decided to stop and buy a ticket in Fort Providence, N.W.T. (Western Canada Lottery Corporation )

The mystery of the unclaimed Lotto Max 'MaxMillions' prizes in the North has been solved.

Yellowknife couple Bradley and Janice McNeill claimed a $1 million prize, according to a press release from the Western Canada Lottery Corporation.

As well, a Whitehorse couple, Edwin and Laura Vanderkley, also claimed a $1 million prize.

The two $1-million prizes had been left unclaimed in the North after the July 13 draw. Little was known about the winners, except that one winning ticket was sold in Whitehorse, and one was sold in the N.W.T.

'This is just a bonus'

The McNeills were driving home to Yellowknife from Edmonton, when they made a pit stop in Fort Providence at the Big River Service Centre, according to the press release.

"I don't often play the lottery," said Bradley in the release. "But for some reason, that day I had it in my mind that I should buy a ticket. I guess this is why."

The couple has no plans for the winnings as of yet, but "retirement is just that much closer," Bradley said.

"We've always been lucky in life," said Janice. "We already have everything that we could want — this is just a bonus."

Whitehorse winners

Edwin Vanderkley bought the $11 ticket from the Porter Creek Super A in Whitehorse. A few days after the draw Laura read in the newspaper that one of the winning tickets had been sold in Whitehorse.

Laura and Edwin Vanderkley bought their winning ticket in Whitehorse. (Western Canada Lottery Corporation)

"I emailed the winning numbers to Edwin so he could check the tickets," said Laura in the press release. "He emailed me back that our numbers had matched."

But that wasn't enough for the pair — they wanted more proof. They downloaded an app to scan the ticket, and then they brought the ticket to a lottery retailer to check on the terminal.

"We were both in disbelief," Laura said.

The couple says they will use the money to pay some bills, and they're thinking about buying a vacation property.