Toronto

Toronto lottery winner collects $60-million windfall

After learning that he'd won a $60-million jackpot, Maurice De Gennaro of Toronto was so overcome with emotion, he immediately stashed the winning ticket under his carpet.

Engineer Maurice De Gennaro broke the news about his big win over Easter dinner with family

Maurice De Gennaro, 68, plans to use his $60-million jackpot to travel in France. (CBC )

After learning that he'd won a $60-million jackpot, Maurice De Gennaro of Toronto was so overcome with emotion, he immediately stashed the winning ticket under his carpet.

"I thought this is the safest place," De Gennaro, 68, said Friday before picking up the cheque for his Lotto Max win. "But I was at work and I started thinking "What if there's a flood?'

"I realized that wasn't sensible, so instead I stuck it under a lamp," he said.

De Gennaro, an engineer, had confirmed his big win by checking the numbers on his phone after a typical Saturday running errands.

"I saw every single number match up and said out loud, 'I've made a mistake. There is no way I won.'" 

De Gennaro went to his computer next to double check the numbers.

"I started shaking, broke out in a sweat and thought: 'This is all too much.' And that's when I tucked the ticket under the carpet," he recalled. 

He broke the news about his windfall at Easter dinner with his sister and nephew.

"I pulled out a photocopy of my ticket and said 'It appears that I won a substantial amount of money.'

"My sister thought I was joking. I needed my nephew Richard to see for himself. He must have checked that ticket a thousand times," said Maurice. "Then, believe it or not, we just went ahead with our Easter celebration, like nothing had happened." 

Plans include return trip to France

The winning ticket was purchased at St. Clair News and Lottery on St. Clair Avenue East in Toronto. 

De Gennaro is a travel fanatic and he plans to return to France, where his last trip was cut short by injury.

"My dream is to pick up where I left off after a vacation in Europe two years ago suddenly ended when I broke my arm and leg. I was sightseeing in France and snapping photos when I tripped on some stairs," he said.

"Now, I can return to France, a country I love. Then it will be on to the rest of Europe, taking my time, seeing the sights and just coming and going as I please."