Ottawa area friends share $60M jackpot
5 men took turns buying tickets for years
Five Ottawa-area men are now $60 million richer, thanks to a lucky Friday the 13th lottery draw.
The five longtime friends — Bryan Redman of Ottawa, Stephane Dionne of Embrun, Ont., Christopher Beazley of Carleton Place, Ont., Gilles Dionne and Norman MacDonald, both of Gatineau, Que., — won the jackpot for the OLG Lotto Max draw.
They were in Toronto on Thursday to claim their winnings.
The men know each other through work — they are all IT professionals, and four of them work for Payments Canada.
They had been playing together for roughly 10 years, taking turns buying a ticket each week.
Redman said he bought the winning ticket while stopping for gas after nearly forgetting it was his turn.
"[I] went into the gas station, bought it, didn't think anything of it, just threw it in the drawer," he said.
The next morning Redman checked the numbers on the lottery app on his phone, then double-checked when his screen showed his ticket was a $60-million winner. Still in disbelief, he ran to a local gas station to check the ticket again.
"It said big winner, $60 million. I got out of there, ran out of there, got in the car, locked the doors, started calling these guys."
Gilles Dionne was the first one to answer his phone, but thought his friend was pulling a prank.
"I felt in his voice that vibration, the emotion that was passing," he said. "I had the chills"
All five agreed they are going to take their time and try to be smart with their winnings.
"We've heard the horror stories. We don't want to be those, so it's just taking the time and processing it and making sure we do the right things," Stephane Dionne said.
Gilles Dionne said their families — all five winners are married and have nine children between them — are reminding them to stay humble and remember where they came from.
"I think that's the strength of this group, is that we've always been close together and we are always really humble to each other."
The draw was held on Friday, July 13.